Piece of Me
Director: Bruna Cabral
Let me just start by saying – this short film is officially the first private screening that this website has received!!
Look at me, moving up in the world. 😉
So so SO grateful that I was contacted to review a film so – yay!! One step closer to getting paid to just sit, watch stuff, and discuss what I think about it.
So anyways – into the film. From the first second of this film, I was hooked. My first thought was – this is already the cutest thing ever.
Piece of Me is a film about an 8-year old boy (Dylan) who fights to keep himself in the memory of Ms. Brooks, his 80 y/o friend who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Piece of Me Review: Themes
The Purity of Innocence
The majority of movies and television that are the most popular and rampant in culture frequently contain dark themes, scandals, and polluted mindsets so, to witness the innocent simplicity of love in a child was a little bit of a wake-up call. That is how things should be. This is how we should love and care for others.
I watched another independent film about a friendship between an elderly woman and a woman in her early twenties called Starlet. It had a somewhat similar set-up to the friendship in this film but it lacked any resemblance of depth and relied on shallow thrills to carry the film along.
This movie took the power of a friendship that spans generations and actually portrayed the beauty of it like I had expected Starlet to.
I am someone who is huge on the power of the mind and the mystery of the brain. Like — the mind is who you are! Imagine losing all remembrance of who you are, of where you’ve been, of your connections. That’s terrifying.
If I had to choose one, I would 1000% choose having an ailment of the body over an ailment of the mind. At least with the body, others can have more sympathy, they can physically see evidence of the pain, where it hurts, and provide the sympathy and support needed while you’re still mentally able to understand and accept that support.
But ailments of the mind — first of all, you’re not getting the same outward sympathy from others. In fact, people may just write you off as crazy or overexaggerating which leaves an additional burden of isolation. Isolation alone breeds insanity. So that’s insanity upon insanity. And because you’ve lost your mind, you can’t even comprehend how insane you’ve become…
Gratefully, no one that I know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia so I’m surprised by how prevalent it is, how little it’s talked about, and the fact that it’s expected to become even more of an issue in the future.
I think it’s awesome how this movie communicated and enlightened people about the realness of this disease and how it’s affecting people more than even the illnesses that people are constantly running marathons and fundraisers for like breast cancer and prostate cancer which are both very serious diseases and worthy causes to fundraise for as well. But, it also just shows that people are more likely to care about and invest in the issues that they can physically see.
Piece of Me: Film Elements
All of the actors did a splendid job. Snaps all around.
The boy who played Dylan (Mason Wells) — He was the most precious thing ever. So adorable! I almost teared up watching him interact so lovingly with Ms. Brooks. Although I must ask, what little boy goes vegan for a month? Like is that a thing that kids do? I was eating Oreos by the sleeve at that age! I didn’t think twice about what I was putting in my body as long as it tasted good.
Ms. Brooks (Roberta Sloan), acted out the disorientation and confusion of Alzheimer’s exceptionally well. Even though I’ve never seen the confusion of dementia in real life I would assume it looks similar to what she did…
I’m not gonna lie, at the beginning of the film, the lines felt a little choppy, like stumbling from one semi-related topic to the next. And I’m sorry — I’m still stuck on Dylan saying he was “going vegan this month.” Maybe he could’ve been lactose intolerant or had simply said that he doesn’t like cheese; that’s why he couldn’t eat cheese and that could’ve been the first sign that Ms. Brook’s memory was slipping a lil bit. But at the same time, Dylan also does seem like the kind of kid who would join in on his mother’s diet just to provide support.
Sometimes Dylan said things that felt a little beyond his age. A bit unrealistic for an 8-year-old boy. And that incongruence just caught me a little off guard at times.
The music was just so fitting and effective in producing the appropriate mood for each moment. The minor chords of disorientation, the harmonic orchestra for the serenity of companionship, the upbeat bongos of artful inspiration…
All of the audio in general effortlessly blended one mood into the next. Very tastefully done.
The camera/lighting quality was on 10. Very crisp images.
I particularly loved the scene where the camera was under the glass table and you could see Dylan and Ms. Brooks putting the puzzle together from below the table. The seamless convergence of the puzzle as it came together to frame the image of the two of them — *chef’s kiss*.
I just thought that it looked really cool and creative. It’s the perfect visual to highlight the significance of the puzzle theme in the film.
Overall, an incredibly precious and informative movie. I was surprised by how short it felt. It was only 20 minutes long but somehow when it was over, I felt like only 10 minutes had passed. I thought maybe there was a post-film message that extended the time to the 20-minute mark. I would love to see an extended version of this film if it ever existed. Dive more into the details of each character’s life but also I appreciate how succinct and focused this film is.
Piece of Me was simple, precious, informative, and beautiful. A very high-quality film that shows that memories don’t live in the mind but reside in the heart.
What are your thoughts on the message and execution of this film? Let me know in the comments below!
And be sure to subscribe for the latest blog updates (form in sidebar).
Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,