On a bench in a park, seven retired friends meet once a week to chat about life, how it went, and what went wrong in a familiar fashion. They are invested in their routine, and this activity is one of the most hurtful things in their lives. But as it happens in life, not all weeks are boring and repetitive. So one day, their lives get perspective, and some changes are happening before their eyes; life becomes exciting and not in the conventional ways one would be tempted to believe.
As we may remember from comedies such as ‘Friends’ or ‘How I Met Your Mother’, the cast is usually a mix of males and females with different interests that may seem to be hard to see together in the pilot episode. But as we know, it worked as a charm, and both of the two series were incredibly popular in the past years. Here, in `The Bench’, we have six pensioners, three men and three women tackling all that’s important in their lives on their favorite bench, once a week. To put this in perspective, we connected ‘The Bench’ with ‘Friends’ more than anything, and we can see now how ‘The Bench’ can be the trailer of a series that will follow the same pattern as the aforementioned series, but at a different age. Having various wild interests, such as drugs or social media, but with a cast of retirees trying to do whatever they failed when they were young would be a compelling premise for the next show to break all the records.
Besides the potential of being a gold mine, what impressed us in ‘The Bench’ is the script and the dialogue, combining the serenity of old age with the swag of a young soul. It’s easy to understand why this script is so good because all the situations are incredibly prosaic, proving from a certain point the quality and the innate talent of Jon Pegg, who also directed this short film. What didn’t work, though, is that the film is too static, and thus it feels more like a theatre play than a movie. From a technical point of view, the cinematography and the editing are basic and unfortunately don’t do much in favor of the film.
In any case, we as a society need entertainment, and watching a film like ‘The Bench’ always feels like a breath of fresh air!
Written by Vlad A. G