BECAUSE OF THE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW WE STRONGLY ADVISE TO WATCH THE FILM FIRST.
Solitude is not something to aspire or wish for but is something people learn how to deal with. ‘The Bench‘ is a story of two characters who have learned to deal with solitude.
Director Claudia Chircop reaches for the public’s hearts with this delicate narration. A boy and an old lady are emotionally connected to a bench; coincidentally the benches are one next to the other. So the characters will visit the same bench every day until one day when they will meet and their mystery will be revealed.
The bench in Claudia Chircop’s short film is a symbol of many. Firstly, the bench connects both characters to the same place: a seafront. Then the bench is also a hideaway, which is very interesting because the seafront is a very popular and usually crowded place and not an isolated one. This equates with a ‘silent’ scream in our minds: each person around us has a personal history but we’ll never know what kind of history that is – some are happy, some are sad but with no doubt they are all silent. I don’t remember exactly who said ‘ Silence is so freakin’ loud’ but this short film reminded me of that: a silent personal scream but so loud at the same time for those who are connected to a similar experience. It is somehow the same thing with ‘The Bench’.
Thirdly, each bench – though conceptually speaking this film is about one bench only – the one bench for each of the characters – so, to rephrase, the bench is the witness to the history of each character, a silent witness that in the end is silently connecting the two.
There is also another powerful symbol in the film: the one of the notebook – and guess what that is about? The notebook will finally symbolize the story that the two characters will enter each other’s personal history. So have you figured out what’s in the notebook? Have a look and a very well fitted music will also delight your ears.