By Lucy Mainwaring-Parr, Criminology Second Year.
I was incredibly honoured when Prasanna asked me to review his short film ‘Two for One’. Second and Third years may remember the filming process last year, which took place around St. John’s College, so it should come of no surprise that this is where the film is set. ‘Two For One’ centres around a conversation between two students, Harry (Harry Regan) and Alex (Poppy Simpson), after they return to Alex’s room in college after a night out.
The film feels intimate, as though the audience is another member of this conversation. It is carried out in a college bedroom, lit by the hazy glow of a desk lamp. The sense of intimacy is also helped by the camera angles, as we, the audience, are largely positioned in the floor in front of them. ‘Two For One’ has the effect of the theatre: it opens in darkness as the audience waits in suspense for the story to begin. Conversation covers academic fears, house signing stresses and the topic of college potatoes in Durham. Alex expresses her concerns to Harry about her course and uncertainties about her future at university, and they discuss the glorification of their pre-university lives of learning:
Harry: ‘What did you want to be when you were eighteen?’
Alex: ‘I don’t know… I felt much cleverer back then’
Harry: ‘I guess that means you know more now’
To any audience member, I believe this dialogue speaks to any concerns of self-worth and the present imposter syndrome experienced by countless university students. It is a film of honesty and vulnerability. Simpson and Regan present the characters wonderfully with the complexities and nuances exhibited by two friends, each experiencing concern for the other alongside worries of selfishness, which an individual offering advice often feels. It is an unusual experience, albeit a privileged one, to be able to see an interpretation of your university experience on screen, and one I hope most John’s students will have the opportunity to see here in Sellathurai’s brilliant and vulnerable work.
Release Date: College is hoping to hold a viewing of ‘Two For One’ in early December.