Sponsor

New Release Review - The Randomers

A lonely girl advertises for a relationship with a "silent" partner.

Directed by: Graham Jones
Starring: Sarah Jane Murphy, Joseph Lydon

The Randomers is a film that initially tested my patience because I usually cannot stand films without dialog. I don’t mean to say this is a silent film, because it most definitely isn’t a silent film.  Silent films at least have dialog text on screen to help the audience follow how the characters are relating because they know silence can only get you so far.  I’m referring to the films that have had to suffer through because the filmmakers are feeling particularly artsy and, in my opinion, want to test the audience’s boundaries and comfort of watching people not speaking.  I realize that a lot can be said without saying a word; I see it, in the proper doses, in almost every film I see.  But what bothers me is when it’s missing from the entire film and the story turns into one long staring contest, which seems more like an acting lesson on the power of silence.  Some days I can appreciate what the filmmakers are doing, and as a piece of art it can be beautiful. 
Sadly, other days I am just not in the mood to sit down and waste my time watching people doing mundane things while expecting me to search for the deeper meaning they are trying to convey.  On those days, and for the first bit of this film, I admit I found myself asking the screen, “Why don’t you just talk?”! Fortunately, about halfway through The Randomers, I found something beautiful about the relationship forming between Dara and Senan. 
The film begins with Dara’s ad, stating “Female, 23 years-old, seeks male for relationship without speaking.” And at first I dismissed the text, assuming the film would lead with a 23 year-old female complaining about the hardships of past relationships or something to that effect leading up to why she would post such an odd ad, but it was never explained.  The film had begun from that point and it wasn’t going to go back, and I was slightly off put by how well they got along without a word spoken between them.  Not a greeting, a compliment, explanation or even a name was spoken between the two, but it is apparent that there is a connection between them from the start.  The film follows as the new relationship quietly blossoms, and we witness the usual highs and lows of every relationship.  The film’s greatest asset is the actors’ endearing performances.  With lesser actors, this oddball film would never be half as charming. 
By the end of the film, there are a few spoken words: a bit of plot advancing via a public speaker; a beautifully sung song by Dara; and a quick back and forth that occurs just before the credits roll.  The last of which being the only line spoken by Senan, and proves to be by far most important in the film, as it makes you reevaluate everything you had seen previously.  I think because we all spend each day talking, a film like this stands out because it is so far away from our normal behavior.  Perhaps, the film-makers were trying to make a point about how much our relationships rely on what we have to say to and about each other. Maybe Dara and Senan have cracked the code to finding that special someone.  Or maybe they are just huge Pulp Fiction fans.  We’ll never know though, because they didn’t tell us.
6/10


The film-makers have made The Randomers available to view free of charge here.


Andy Comer

discussion by