So often we're told to take pride in everything we say or do. Fake it until you make it, and never let them see you sweat. We're told if you really want it... really need it and work for it, life will sort it all out and make it happen. It's all a matter of motivation and of course, that damned pride thing. But what happens when you run into hard times? No matter what people say, it happens to almost everyone. Very few can claim to have had the perfect life - and some even go so far as to say the hard times build character. That may be true, but what happens when your pride prevents you from asking for help - even from those you love? More to the point of this short film... what happens when it's not just yourself in the hot seat, but also your child? For some the answers may be simple. But for those to ashamed to ask for the help and support they need - life tends to keep piling up the shit. It takes a lot to overcome your personal feelings of guilt, shame and failure. For some it's near impossible.
"Scrap" isn't one of those Hallmark movies. Unlike everyone's favorite, gooey, made for television films - writer Vivian Kerr doesn't go for the expected heart warming finale. The wrap up of this movie depends on how you look at it - a life thing, a family thing or a pride thing. But don't expect a gushy fantasy climax where all goes exactly as it should have. "Scrap" is more akin to real life, and works more as a question than a statement. Many of us are able to relate with the leading character Beth, and many can confirm that her and her brother Ben, don't have an odd-ball relationship at all. When it comes to family? Fighting and estrangement are common place. And usually it does take a third party, such as a child, to even open the doors of communication. It all comes back to that one emotion. Pride. "Scrap" is the perfect showcase, wrapped in a nicely produced twenty minute film.
The technicalities of this movie leave little to bitch about. Leena Pendharkar directs - and manages to squeeze some very convincing performances from the cast. Vivian Kerr nails Beth so well, you may wonder just how the crew managed to hide a camera everywhere this real woman went. Kerr completely embodies the part, but by no means does that mean the rest of the cast is playing second fiddle. Not even a little.
Anthony Rapp could very well be Beth's brother. Ben is played fluidly and realistically - us viewers can all see there is some strain within this family, but the love is still there. Rapp and Kerr don't exactly look like siblings, but there is something within the performances, that ties them together. Gestures, expressions... I can't say for certain what it is, but it exists. Rounding off those performances from the leading cast are the supporting troupe. These folks don't get as much screen time, obviously, but I can say that nobody felt weird or out of place. That can only mean one thing - a bang up job! I can't count the amount of times background or supporting actors have ruined the mood within a film. Not here. Not at all.
When it's all said and done? "Scrap" features some great production work, some great acting and a realistic script that unfortunately, many of us will relate with. Although focused on Beth's situation, this film serves more as a cautionary story. It also features some interesting subtle elements, such as how much our world is changing. No longer is working hard always enough. No longer is education always enough. A lot of life can be attributed to luck - but you best be sure to swallow your pride and ask for help when needed. Keep those doors open to family and close friends. Why? Because you never know when you're going to need help getting back on your feet - and if you can't trust your closest loved ones... who else is there? It shouldn't always be about rivalry. "Scrap" earns every single star, and rests at four and a half.
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