In the Coming-of-Age genre, the majority of good short film releases come from the Scandinavian countries. Yet once in a while one stumbles upon an interesting British release such as Al Mackay’s 2009 film Bale. The film tells the story of three kids whose play in the fields is interrupted by older teenagers. The confrontation between the two groups, in the name of a demonstration of superiority, leads to unexpected terrifying consequences…
The cinematography of Bale is impressive, namely the dynamic widescreen camerawork and saturated colors that manage to give a longing, nostalgic feel to the British countryside where the action takes place. While the story of the film manages to capture the attention of the viewers and keep them in suspense in regards to the finale, it is the aesthetic beauty of the movie that you will likely recall when recommending the film to a friend.
The cast delivers natural performances – appearing to be improvisations for the most part – a technique frequently used when working with newcomers with little or no experience in front of the camera. The ending is somehow disappointing. I feel that if the director chose a different final scene, cutting out perhaps thirty or so seconds from the one in the film, the impact on the audience would be enhanced.
The film is available online thanks to the global short film network Future Shorts. I invite you to see it and share your thoughts in the comments section.