Karl Walsh created in 'DryStone' a world where anyone's welcomed, but the admission is based on the overall power to adapt to the environment. We know, it sounds simple, but we will explain. Frank (played by Mike Crook) is a man who seems to have lost everything – his wife, his house, his dignity, his will of living. From the beginning, we see him sad, walking like every road leads nowhere. His mood is amplified by the continuous fog and the rain that seems like it is about to produce a great flood. Even though the tone of the film is quite dark and with no hope at the end of the tunnel, Frank has a mission, and he will do anything to make it happen: he is building a wall. From here on out, the symbolic substrate takes the wheel.
We must say that Frank reminds us of Walter White from Breaking Bad. They are both left outside alone and they try their best to make a good impression in the eyes of their former wives. It seems like both marriages worked well until work, and a minor psychosis took over. After that, both protagonists were changed in ways that they could not explain and thus going back to their natural self was almost impossible.
On the other hand, building the wall in Frank's case is a powerful symbolic ritual. Building the wall can be seen as a separation from the other life that made you suffer, and with each stone you put on the foundation, the well-deserved freedom comes closer. We might say that the light at the end of the tunnel appears clearer with each brick that covers the view of the past life. Frank is the modern-day Sisyphus, pushing the pain away only to see it come back almost crushing him.
'DryStone' goes where not many short films would go, creating a world where life is as real as it gets and the viewer gets to feel it wholeheartedly.
Written by Vlad A. G