SFW Review: Last Shot and Whale Heart

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Last Shot by Aemilia Widodo

Last Shot is a cute short film about a camera with a broken lens that, once animated, convinces his owner to appreciate the beauty in imperfection. 

Reasonably, when the owner first sees the damaged lens, throws the camera away. But instead of giving up hope, the camera responds by meticulously arranging an exquisite art piece, using only its newly altered images.

This is all to prove a moral point: that happiness can only exist after we have achieved a sense of optimism.

Whale Heart by The Animation Workshop

Whale Heart, follows the life of a whaler, named Silas. The film highlights the struggle of Silas’s life, in an isolated village, with his young family. We see that Silas’s inner turmoil and his environment, are taking a dark toll on him. His work has made him a cold and emotionally distant man; he has mastered the art of extracting his emotions (taking out his heart and abandoning it at home, with his family).

In the film, we see Silas’s young son primed to follow him. From the moment Silas was born, he was groomed for the whaling lifestyle. Which is why, when given a conscious choice to initiate his son into the life, Silas wisely decides against it; naturally wanting to give his boy a chance at something better.

Ultimately, when Silas does not remove his heart and dies protecting his son, it marks the beginning of the end for this story. This moment is symbolic of the fact that we cannot always hide our raw emotions for/from our loved ones. Having his son with him, is a key moment in Silas’s life, one that he cannot detach from. And with this, I feel like Silas is finally able to create a choice for himself-one he could not readily make in the past. What makes the story all the more interesting, is how, even with his devoted father’s ultimate sacrifice, the son becomes a whaler for the village, anyway.

While their reasons for pursuing this harsh lifestyle are different (with the son sorely wanting vengeance for his slain father and the father only wanting to provide for his family), it is fascinating to see how easy it was from both of them to become the thing they were fighting so hard against. The father and son never talked about each other’s earnest hopes and wishes for the future, so it seems inevitable that this would be the outcome.