The balcony: creator of a voyeuristic fantasy
Balcony is an independent English short film which tells the story of the meeting between two young girls, one English and the other immigrant of Afghan origin in a popular London district marked by racism. Tina is fascinated by Dana whom she sees on her balcony. One day, Dana is taken to task by girls from her school. Tina then takes his defense. The two quickly become friends. But Tina’s feelings for Dana quickly turn out to be troubled and ambivalent It is difficult to offer a perfectly mastered drama in 17 minutes of production. Yet Toby Fell-Holden does it with precision and efficiency. If the balcony theme is a classic theme of literature and cinema, Toby Fell-Holden delivers a personal vision.
What is the balcony appeared in the film?
Its balcony looks like an ordinary balcony, which nothing distinguishes it from the others. It is this elevated place where it is possible to see or be seen while standing at a distance and this place where it is possible to temporarily stage while masking the intimate. But Tina’s behavior contrasts with the classic behavior of balcony users: she does not stage herself and if she is seen, she does not try to see. Yet, unwittingly, she arouses desire but also jealousy and hatred. Tobby Fell-Holden makes his balcony the place of the projection of all fantasies, including the darkest.
He makes it an extraordinary place where the drama is tied and unraveled. The story is gripping, with no downtime, even reaching an unrelenting tension during the final sequence. The characters, perfectly embodied by Charlotte Beaumont and Genevieve Dunn, aptly share their doubts and their emotions. Their interpretations are quite convincing, and create empathy in the viewer. rightly, their doubts and their emotions. Their interpretations are quite convincing, and create empathy in the viewer. rightly, their doubts and their emotions. Their interpretations are quite convincing, and create empathy in the viewer. Balcony is a film noir, pessimistic as it is amoral, but it offers a beautiful reflection on the complexity of human nature. It definitely deserves its “special mention” from the jury of the 2016 This is England British short film festival in Rouen. A film that we can only recommend to Anglicists.