Music is the passion, soldier is the job. Protect the passion while at ‘work’ and don’t give attention to your comrade’s irony when he mocks your preoccupation. But a bullet interrupts all vanity and pride uniting those in the line of fire.
Paul Bestolarides’ short film ‘Last Beat’ approaches the theme of Iraq War where destinies have to forget about their own little pleasures and sacrifice them for the mission, for the team. Each and every individual has their own way of dealing with the circumstances and act tough in front of the challenges and insecurity.
Director Paul Bestolarides’ film is divided in two plans. The main plan is set in the present, lyrically shot with outstanding visuals and lighting, well framed in black and white and harnessed with a bit of mystery as the character in focus is not revealed until the last second of the film. It’s a true visual enchantment built out of details and silhouettes, accompanied by a melancholic piano music and casting drama and mystery on the overall project.
The secondary plan is set in the past. Events corresponding to the past are shot in an almost documentary appearance. They look real, raw, non-stylised and they place the viewer in the middle of the action. The editing follows both narrative lines in parallel as the piano beats in the main plan of the story are syncing themselves to the rhythm of the action in the past.
A memorable sequence is that of the soldier’s scores used to stop his own bleeding, a symbolic moment indicating not only the great sacrifice of one’s personal dreams demanded by war but also their futility in troubled times. It’s just as if personal dreams would make the bleeding even more obvious and unstoppable.
‘Last Beat ’s ending offers a surprising twist of the story. The scores played at the piano are the ‘restoration’ of those having served as ‘bandage’ in times of war. They are now just a ballad of a man who tries to finish the composition and play it in the memory of… its creator. It’s this mysterious character’s way of resurrecting the scores’ composer. Who he is and why he does it you must watch Paul Bestolarides’ short flick to find out. It will move you!