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Ringo (2011)

Amazingly cringey and funny comedy short!

Thought-provoking comedy by director Yaara Sumeruk is a short film that will shake you well with laughs and a gritty charm. It follows a lonely middle-aged housewife who decides to hire a male prostitute for the evening. It greatly balances between cringe and comedy. Ringo is not an original idea, it was developed on the theatre play by Chris Davis.

>I recently watched another short film called The Heart Wants What it Wants, and like Ringo, it centered on two people in a hotel room, with no detail of the world outside, or what brought them there. That film was very different from this one in many ways, however they both benefit from the tight focus on one room, and from the performances of the two actors. In this case an older woman books a gigolo to visit her in a hotel room but seems unable or willing to engage in the acts that he assumes she wanted, but instead starts to act out a much more personal relationship with him – starting with simulating him being born and only really getting odder from there.

>The events in the short are indeed weird and just so in their delivery. It is at times comedic, unnerving, awkward, and engaging – and it is a mix that is not wholly successful in what it does as a narrative. However, much like the other short I mentioned, it does well in how it still engages the viewer in the characters. Despite the rather overly comedic delivery of the two characters, there is a quiet satisfying commitment from the two actors, and they sell their characters despite the slight air of silliness that sits across the whole film. It needs this because, although I liked the shift in dynamics, it is perhaps not as clever as it would have liked to have been, and puts a bit too much in the excessive oddity it all has.

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>The performances give it a lot of reason to watch though, and I particularly enjoyed Sims as the woman. The tight shoot in the hotel room is well handled as well, with a good look and design, and generally the slightly overly odd tone and content is made to work thanks to the change in dynamics and how well that is delivered by the two players. I did not find it as good as the other short I mentioned, but it is certainly well delivered.

Directed by Yaara Sumeruk
Starring Michelle Sims and Max Carpenter

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