Relationships have more twists, turns and WTF moments than any television show or film you can name. Given the time, all couples will get a heaping fair share of crazy - and life defining situations. Relationships are all about the long game. Those many little things that add up to something huge, as time progresses. Both the good and the bad. Yet at the same time, love always prevails right? Even if it does happen to take a few tries. Or does it? Sometimes those little, and not so little things, just increasingly weigh you down. So much so that the negative far outweighs the positive. Or so you think. I'm almost certain that if you received an honest answer, from many seniors regarding lost love, most would probably tell you, in secret, there was at least one that got away. One that in hindsight, was worth enduring all those small little irritations. Maybe even some of the bigger ones. And yes reader, all this rambling does pertain to this film. Sophie (Francesca Louise White) and Ryan (Jamie O'Neill are one such couple. Desperate to make things work, after what I assume to be the honeymoon period passes. Told through a series of flashbacks and using, what I think was the present day as the wrap-around, us viewers are treated to the highlights of their relationship. As well, of course, as some of the smaller things that didn't rate high on the "stellar" chart. Most of us will be able to relate in some form or another, recognize some of the similar situations. Those familiar instances were one of the draws for me personally. Things I totally understood when seeing them presented onscreen, yet may have missed in real life. That was the real creative juice "Back To The Start" oozed with. It's ability to take the situation of strangers, and make it a familiar one. I'm sure many will agree.
So how does "Back To The Start" present itself? From a production standpoint? Not bad at all. The visuals are all nicely done, including the different color schemes for various relationship time frames, and the audio is crisp and clear. The main cast, Francesca Louise White and Jamie O'Neill, both manage to play off one and other in a believable way. Scenes, and continuation scenes - such as the ordeal with the chopsticks, solidly connect them and do a great job showcasing their attempts - to make the relationship work. The dialog also felt pretty darn real. Overall, Matthew Hall did a great job both directing this talented group of people, and writing the script. Things however, were not all roses... so to speak.
A chunk of the overall enjoyment of a film comes from the way it's put together. In this case, the narrative felt a little spotty at times. I wouldn't go so far as to say confusing, since the use of colors and general "by the clock" pacing is clearly present. And yet... I honestly wasn't a fan. I completely understood the purpose and reasoning behind the constant shuffle back and forth between time frames. It was all just so fast at times. I felt I never really had a chance to ground myself in any one particular instance. This feeling wasn't as bad as "writing it out" may imply. It was however, present enough to mention. Such a small thing though... all things considered.
When it's all said and done, "Back To The Start" was entertaining enough to keep me watching, and presented well enough to make my eyes and ears happy. The overall scenario was one most of us can relate with, and that made sure I was hooked until the end. I appreciated the implications of the ending, and even thought it fitted the "Back To The Start" title quite well. My final personal rating of three stars represents a short film that did, in fact, earn each and every one. Nice work ladies and gents.