All is fair in Love and War
Closely associated with the years of one’s growth – first love is commonly addressed in Coming-of-Age movies. But as wonderful as love can be, it is sometimes accompanied by great complications – especially if your beloved happens to be your teacher. The story of one such adoration — told in first person — is the focus of the 2010 Oscar nominated Irish short film, The Crush, directed by Michael Creagh.
The main protagonist of the film, Ardal Travis (Oran Creagh), is an eight-year-old boy hopelessly in love with his second grade teacher Miss Purdy (Olga Wehrly), who he thinks is very, very beautiful. Unlike many nervous teens, Ardal is not afraid to reveal his feelings and even considers marrying Miss Purdy. Yet, soon he realizes that he is not the only one fond of the beautiful teacher and that his rival is bigger, older… and meaner. But Ardal will not give up! He will fight for the heart of his beloved!
Despite the witty plot, The Crush has a few shortcomings – such as the camerawork: a bit stale and unnatural at times, and the score (with the exception of the final song) which, when addressed, could have resulted in a real masterpiece. Sometimes the characters’ actions did not ring true, though those of the main protagonist (though played by an obvious newcomer to cinema) inspires heartwarming feelings and sympathies.
On the positive side, the action picks up intensity as the narrative develops – so much so that (even if you approached this as just another “kid film”) the story will engage and intrigue you. (Of course, it’s my hope that few, if any, of the readers of this site would approach any film in that manner.)
The Crush manages to evoke suspense, raise tension, shock and/or make one smile, which is all you can ask from a 15 minute film.
Watch the entire film below: