Too Much / Not Enough is a debut short film by Friends Make__, a talented collective focused on producing quality and engaging visual arts. This commitment is obvious even from their swanky site which introduces the members of Friends Make__, a cool crew, in animation. The short film was released on February 2020.
The short film stars Adanna Adaka and Brumeh 'Brum3h' Oghenekaro as two lovers navigating three phases of their relationship: its happy phase, its transition to unhappiness and finally what can be interpreted as its end. The story is presented through a spoken word voice over by the couple who poetically narrate a montage of their relationship.
The film is fun to watch. Each scene was a brilliant choice of color, wardrobe and scenery. The imagery of each scene featured a deliberate use of color and a tactical showing off of wardrobe and it featured a good looking cast. For example in some scenes the couple is featured wearing complementary patterns. Not “anko”, whereby they would be wearing the same pattern of fabric, but complementary in a way that seems to suggest two unique identities which complement each other well. As the film progresses, we see them in contrasting colors of black and white, we then see them in all black as if in mourning and we see her donning a black panther style hat which accentuated her stance of arms crossed and back turned.
A fascinating aspect of the film is its use of body language in storytelling. The film relies heavily on body language as it has no dialogue between the characters. In terms of sound, we are compelled to rely on the poetry and the ominous background music. The lack of dialogue, while it was an aesthetic decision, may not have strengthened the storytelling. Some dialogue could have offered a relatable demonstration (instead of narration) of what the characters were going through, it would have offered a contrast to the poetry that could have accentuated it and it could have made the characters more personable.
Each scene was well thought out and each scene cleverly juxtaposes another. For example, one of the earliest scenes shows the couple playing tennis. They are dressed in white. It is a flirtatious game showing the couple ready and excited for the challenge the other poses. This contrasts with a later scene where they are jogging through the street dressed in black. They start off running in sync until the guy breaks off, leaving his partner. The commentary on the relationship is interesting. It is unclear if she is unable to keep up with an agreed upon pace or if he broke such pace, inconsiderate of his partner’s fatigue. Too Much/ Not Enough. It explores the “you didn’t fight for us” narrative that many relationships fall into. With the couple, we try to navigate the cause of the transition. Was it complacency? Was it a natural realization that they were not compatible? Was it betrayal? Was it fatigue? These are questions the couple struggles to answer.
Despite my appreciation of the purpose of the running scene, it was aesthetically not up to par with the other scenes. The comparatively lower quality of the image and location choice made an otherwise thoughtful scene stick out in an unflattering way. There was another glitch in which the male actor looks into the camera when he was to be looking elsewhere. Though this was a minor distraction, and the rest of the scene was perfect, for the quality of film that this sought to be, a retake was needed.
Though well captured, the bed scene was an avoidable cliche. I think most people have seen the image of or reference to a couple sleeping with backs to each other. This scene falters in comparison to other scenes which more creatively convey the emotions of a failing relationship. Regardless, it was shot well with an intentional contrasting of color, and it was in tandem with the theme of body language that is carried on throughout the film.
The film was brilliantly shot and gives an interesting take on a love story. Though it left me craving for more of the story, it was an impressive production from a team who has shown that they have plenty to offer. I’m excited for what they’ll do next.