‘Feel’ as reviewed by Emily Thomas
Feel (Luke Murphy) is a sensory ode to lost love. Inspired by Blade Runner and Her, the short unravels a broken relationship and the confusion and hurt felt by the protagonist Olivia (Martha Grant) upon its conclusion. She falls in love, has her heart broken, and eventually comes to a shocking realisation about her boyfriend.
The main actors give convincing performances as Olivia remembers her year with Joe, and Luke describes the detailed casting process of Facebook advertising that culminated in an audition day in DIT. Upon filming, Joe (Donall C. Courtney) delivered a more subdued performance than in his audition tape, which Luke found worked in the context of the story. He states that the nationalities of the actors are coincidental but, albeit unintentionally, serve to heighten the difference between humanity and technology (the Northern Irish accents also making it easier to understand when the film was shown in America).
The colour scheme in the film is highly evocative: red and yellow tones are used for the emotionally charged flashbacks when the lovers first meet, while the loneliness and numbness felt by the protagonist in the present day are conveyed through cooler visuals. Some stunning shots of the couple embracing on Killiney Hill make up the most impactful scene in the film- the intimate cinematography immerses the viewer in the sublimity of the moment, and the swelling music heightens the emotional impact.
The film’s soundtrack is highly evocative and adds to the visceral authenticity of the piece. Composed by Thomas McGovern, it was carefully selected by Luke, who emphasises its importance within the film. Subtle and ambient, it accentuates the ambiguity of the plot and mysterious elements of the relationship.
A black-mirror-like take on the relationship between humanity and technology, this gentle film explores love and loss in the lives of an unusual young couple.