By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The Gesture and The Word is not entirely about finding love. Instead, the film explores how to open your eyes to the world around you through the lens of a poet. Postman Gilbert (James Michael Tyler, Friends) has delivered plenty of postcards to Aurore (Roxane Mesquida, Now Apocalypse) and he can’t help but read them. It is an open letter after all; any prying eyes can see it. Though he doesn’t mean to, in what he reads, he becomes attracted to this lady too but has trouble communicating his feelings to her.
Tyler is perfect to emote that sense of a lost soul. He plays up that awkwardness to familiar levels. When the cards stop, he thinks this woman needs continued delivery of these cards and replaces those messages with those of his own. Whether that’s deemed creepy, some may think this action is cute and others will say this man needs to mind his own business.
Either way, I see the action as a revelation of his inner self wanting to come out. Mr. Rostalle (Paul Dooley, The Practice) is a retired literary professor who helps him find his muse. From the movie Moulin Rouge, Satine best summarizes my thought, “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs,” but in counterpoint, the Elephant Love Medley weighs in the pros and cons of wanting to be filled too much with this emotion. I see this exploration fulfilled in filmmaker Helen Alexis Yonov‘s short film, which is in development to become a feature.
Unlike Baz Luhrmann’s piece, I’m thankful there’s no sense of lost hope, but rather an understanding on how you can’t force yourself into a situation. This film is less of an anecdotal approach to finding romance, but rather a careful reminder on how folks should be careful. Unlike Christian in that musical spectacular spectacular, Dooley doesn’t realize that sometimes that interest may lay elsewhere. This short film is heartfelt. Sometimes that key to finding companionship is as simple as communicating often than being a Walter Mitty.
Watch the trailer here: