EGG: An Absurdist Take On The Ordinary
Alice Trueman's Egg is a beautifully shot and scored comedy, mixing both the relatable and the absurd in a uniquely engaging way.
Alice Trueman’s debut short film Egg follows Ivy (Sally Phillips) and Margaret (Kiki Kendrick), two friends meeting up for tea. Ivy has important news to share with Margaret, yet an awkward silence forms as she is unsure how to bring up the news.
Relationships Built Through Small Moments
Sally Phillips and Kiki Kendrick both give wonderful performances built around the unease of making conversation where it has become stilted. Only seeing the characters for one minute, where neither of them spoke, we can already begin to imagine the type of friendship they might have, and how it has possibly changing leading up to this moment.
The performances come through in subtle pauses, sighs, and blinks, forming a stasis of their relationship through simple and commonly overlooked actions. We are not introduced to Ivy and Margaret outside of this particular meeting, but we can infer an existing friendship and a routine through their interactions.
Ivy and Margaret could possibly have been meeting for tea for years, not because this is explicitly stated through dialogue, but because the performances are natural and enticing. The awkward silences bring us closer to the characters, wondering if they are falling away as friends, or if this specific news is making them both tense.
Sound Design Benefited by Minimal Dialogue
Egg benefits from its use of minimal dialogue and prolonged moments, only scored by the natural sounds of a kitchen, specifically an egg timer, showing the awkward silence between Ivy and Margaret. Once Ivy has made her news known, the silence returns, giving way to the use of more atmospheric sounds, such as the whistling of a tea kettle.
The dialogue in this film is very scarce, yet so much emotion comes through in Phillips’ and Kendrick’s performances, as well as in the film’s use of sound.
Alice Trueman’s writing and directing deserves endless praise. Being able to capture so much raw emotion about the changes in friendship and the absurdity surrounding friendship and birth with so little in the way of dialogue is something for which Trueman should be admired.
Egg utilizes silence to its advantage, creating tension, which makes the laughter come forward as a release. When I watched this film for the first time, I was not expecting to laugh as much as I did. I am trying to not go into too much detail of which elements of the film made me laugh, because I think one of the major strengths of Egg is how the comedy swells up inside, and bubbles to the surface as a natural and surprising response.
The Ordinary Becomes the Absurd
I absolutely love comedy which takes something very ordinary and twists and turns it into something the audience would never expect. Egg takes our preexisting knowledge of new mothers and etiquette and twists it into something uniquely wonderful.
Most of the film mirrors experiences many people have had with their friends or siblings, and gives it a push into the unknown, making the comedy come both from the relatable and recognizable experiences and the completely unknown and unexpected.
Egg left me wanting more from Trueman. The way she explores ordinary life through a lens of absurdity is refreshing and unique. Her work feels like a beautiful mixture of art cinema and sketch comedy, which is a wonderful combination that I hope to see more of in the future.
Alice Trueman’s Egg is a beautifully shot and scored comedy, mixing both the relatable and the absurd in a uniquely engaging way.
You can watch Egg here on Alice Trueman’s Vimeo account.
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