One of the ways that I choose my short stories to critique is by looking at the related videos to the last stories I watched. This one was three or four clicks away from the Identity video that I looked at a few weeks ago.
I choose this one because it actually caught my attention for the full 10 minutes of its length, unlike the other ones I looked at.
This short is called The Most Beautiful Thing. There is not a lot of dialogue present, just a few sentences at the beginning and the end of the short.
It tells the tale of a young high school boy looking for a date to prom. He goes around and tries to say hello to all manner of ladies, but no one even bats an eye at him. When he says hello to one girl at lunch, she doesn’t respond to him, like all of the others. He tries again, but gets no immediate response. The girl then turns to him and writes on her notebook that she is deaf and doesn’t speak, so she didn’t hear him. They then start to exchange conversation through the notebook between them, spending all of their lunch times conversing and drawing.
One day, he is running a bit late and another boy takes his spot on the bench beside her and he gets jealous and leaves. She texts him all night and he reassures himself that they are friends, looking up at the prom poster again, deciding that he is going to ask her. He learns the sign language for his question and runs to buy flowers. When he goes to give it to her and ask, he sees the boy from earlier attempting to kiss her. He jumps to conclusions and doesn’t see what the viewer does, that she immediate hits the guy and runs away.
Later that day, they run into each other in the hallway and she speaks to him, telling him that she hit the boy. He becomes overwhelmed at her speaking voice, and signs to her, asking if she wants to go to the prom with him.
The video ends with the above sentence. The video was powerful, cute and cleverly done. The acting was impeccable and I genuinely enjoyed it. I looked at the story, compelled to watch the whole thing through to the end. It was a simple concept, but I really had an emotional reaction to it, it was so sweet.
For the Critique, I’m going to look at Story, Presentation, and Content Understanding.
Story. The story was very simple, easy to comprehend. It had a basic story structure of character development, crisis, and conclusion, but sometimes these simply structures you find in all kinds of stories for a reason. They work. We saw the characters develop, the girl overcame herself to use her speaking voice, the boy was teaching himself sign language for her, and they ended up caring for each other in the end.
There was even a moral at the end of the video.
Presentation. The presentation was excellent. There was not much dialogue, but the story was conveyed in video shots and in writing, which was the most appropriate considering the content of the story. It looked as though it was shot in a high school, making an excellent use of settings easily available to them. In the description of the video, they even say the programs that they used to edit and film it. Unlike a few of the other stories that I’ve looked at, it had a very sensible credits sequence.
Content Understanding. I chose this one to look at in the video because of the sensitivity to the disabilities here. The main character reacted in very genuine, believable ways to the girl’s apprehension to use her speaking voice, as many in the deaf community do. And when she did speak, it was very true to form from my experiences. The young man also has some difficulties making out the words with his hands as he learns the signs, all simply very realistic experiences.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story, it was cute, emotional, and told a very real story. I don’t normally say this, but I do think that it could have been longer. I think that they could have flushed out their relationship more, gave some more context for the characters, and I always enjoy showing the audience the happy ending. For what the story was though, it was a really good watch and I recommend you click the link!