Select Page

KTV Film Festival: Restless

Emmanuel Omodeinde

Emmanuel is a 21-year-old English Literature and Film student who loves films, TV, books and pop culture. He is particularly interested in postcolonial literature.

At almost 50 minutes long Restless is the longest film screened at the KTV Film festival by quite a bit, but it is well-paced, brilliantly acted and quite often, hilarious. It is one of the standouts in a line-up of great short films this year.

Restless is one of 8 short films screened at the KTV Film Festival, a student run film festival co-ordinated by volunteers who are members of the student media society, KTV. Every year, students submit their scripts and usually between 8 and 10 scripts are selected for production with KTV drama. This film is directed and written by Callum Abraham and, having seen the cinematography in Abraham’s other work for KTV Drama, I knew Restless would look great. I was pleased, then, when the writing and directing also turned out to be very strong, proving that Abraham is an all-round talented filmmaker.

Almost every student filmmaker is heavily influenced by their favourite directors and films and, a lot of the time, these influences are overbearing, and the films lack originality. Watching Restless, I found it difficult to place its influences. It follows Shaun (Jose Pereira): a man working in London who goes to Canterbury to visit his sister Frances (Zoe Carey-Williams) for the weekend. He quickly finds himself in several uncomfortable situations completely out of his depth but luckily meets a young filmmaker named Rebecca (Emma-Jane Betts) who keeps him out of trouble. It’s a relatively simple and uncomplicated plot, but the overall film isn’t so straightforward.

It starts off with Rebecca going around Canterbury and taking photographs, the fairly melodramatic piano score suggesting the film’s tone will be serious. However, it enjoys many comedic moments mostly arising from Merchant, Frances’ housemate, hilariously played by Harry Walton. His relationship with his dog is one of the highlights of this film and drew big laughs from the audience. It is also incredibly well shot, and depth of field is used brilliantly to capture the city and Rebecca within it. However, one flaw I found with Restless is that it leans into some clichés; whether this is intentional or unintentional, I’m not sure. For example, the antagonistic character Tommy (Dan Gibbs) is the stereotypical scumbag you might find in classic Hollywood films from the 50s and 60s. However, he may also be purposefully a cliché, given “Tommy” is the sort of name you might hear in those films, so perhaps Abraham is satirising those tropes. This is where its possible to identify some influence from David Lynch; the subversion of generic tropes is a common technique in his films, leading the audience to get comfortable in order to shock or disturb them.

Although the plot was quite simple and straightforward, the acting in Restless was often quite good. Another problem in many student films is while they often look brilliant, they sacrifice good writing and acting. Whilst Restless doesn’t have the quality of a professional studio/arthouse film, it is very well written and performed. Jose Pereira plays Shaun with a sort of awkwardness and captures the character’s feeling of alienation perfectly; whilst Emma-Jane Betts imbues Rebecca with significance, a character which may otherwise have come across as a contrived meta insert, both leads portray fully realised characters. While Restless does have its flaws, it is beautifully shot, excellently performed and well-written. I promise you will not be restless watching it.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Tweets

  • Today is ! Head down to see some great student bands!
  • Update for those graduating: Additional graduation tickets will be available for purchase from 10am on Wednesday 1st June
  • ENTERTAINMENT | Jack Hsuan reviews PC game !…
  • Lecturer strikes start today. Read why here…
  • Update: Exams which are set to take place at the same time as the lecturer strikes will go ahead as normal.…


Latest Issue

Latest Issue

Recent Posts