Feeling, Big, Small, Scared, At Ease (I Am Easy To Find)
I like crying to films. It means that the film has done a damn fine job in my opinion. Take The Imitation Game for example. While I didn't cry while watching it, when I told my mum what happened to Alan Turing at the end, I cried Timberlake that river. With this short film, however, I cried for a different reason.
Turing's treatment is incomprehensibly sad. But (SPOILER ALERT) chemical castration is naturally an occurrence many cannot relate to. With I Am Easy To Find (the short film that accompanied The National's 2019 studio album), the sadness arises from its poignant relatability and the music that resonates within you.
Alicia Vikander (playing the girl) is the true constant in her account. She remains in almost the exact clothes from the start and despite the film being from her birth to death, no prosthetics are added. The story isn't to see the change of life happening, it's to feel it and experience it. Having her physically age would be a distraction so it is up to Vikander's performance to display these transitions. She begins by noticing the "orange colour inside her eyelids" as "She discovers her hands and feet". It is the subtle movements and jolts that makes her character and performance as a new born believable.
The text at the bottom is, in a word, generic. "Her mother's stories" and "Her father's voice" are not in depth metaphors or developments into Vikander's character's psyche, they are generic descriptions that apply to everyone; most notably "She wonders if she is interesting". That hits hard because everyone thinks like that. Everyone. With the age she is depicting at that moment (a teenager in college I presume, I don't understand the American school system), I would be surprised if one person hadn't thought that way. I am constantly dominated with these kinds of feelings and emotions and to see it, in a way, visualised with block colours, black and white cinematography, performances out of this world, and normal white text, simply makes this whole experience that much more clearer and the film that much more beautiful.
I praise the perfection that is Spider-Man: Homecoming for being relatable and having a character the audience can see themselves in. With this, everyone can see themselves in Vikander's character. There is not one aspect of this film that someone cannot say they have experienced. Experiencing nature, remembering a forgotten memory, losing a loved one, they are all common occurrences. And I truly hope experiencing those emotions of "Feeling, big, small, scared, at ease" will bring you to the same level of poignancy, sadness and hope that I felt.
"I Am Easy To Find" - A Film by Mike Mills / An Album by The National: