Director Ian Barnes brilliantly produced a heart-rending film that puts the mind and heart unease as the plot grew bigger from the size of a kiwi to a peach. Barnes isn’t James Cameron or Peter Jackson but his work, Wish 143, made it as one of the nominees for the 2011 Oscar in the short films category. With Tom Bidwell as the writer, the 24- minute film brought about many tears and laughter.
The story revolves around a 15 year old cancer patient who gets one wish from the Dreamscape Charity and in his presently ill moment, he pursued the desire to lose his virginity. Samuel Holland, who plays David, portrayed the character with sensitivity, sincerity, and full dedication to the role. He deserved applauses for creating a character that the audience can empathize with.
The film started out in a gray cloudy hue with David and the man from the Dreamscape Charity asking David to make a wish. Ideas like a trip to Disneyland, or meeting soccer player Gary Neville was suggested, however, like any teenager with raging hormones, David boldly said out loud he wants to have sex.
Scenes of comedy ensue as we are introduced to Father Carter, played by Jim Carter, who shows David a newspaper article regarding his wish to lose his virginity. A kind elderly woman responds to the newspaper article by telling David that she is willing to do the dirty deed of taking his virginity away, over at a bed and breakfast room she booked. David makes up a story that he already lost his virginity to get out of this one.
In a desperate attempt, David escapes the hospital to seek women off the street. After being rejected by a pimp daddy for being underage, it brought a tearful silence in the theatre, as David walked away in despair as it was obvious that his time was running out and feeling the self pity. Seconds later, the audience chuckled at the change of David’s facial reaction where he recklessly grabs a brick, turned around, and jump screen ahead, being bailed out of jail by Father Carter.
Similar to Cinderella’s fairy godmother, Father Carter, who was hesitant at first with helping David see his wish granted, eventually becomes understanding and helps David with his situation. Eventually, he becomes more than a priest to David, a mentor. “Sex is a sacred thing,” he tells David. Father Carter then sneaks David out of the hospital and takes him to a more respectable and professional call girl.
The events that happened and followed, although not entirely realistic, were very emotional and touching on screen. A film of schemes, mixed with comedy and sorrow of one’s unrealistic desire quickly became a self realization of the true meaning of love and happiness. David’s mission to seek out sexual pleasure from just any female partner failed but in returned his self journey helped him discover his desire was a cry out for love and company, and instead of finding it with what he thought would be, was found in his short-live friendship with the Father. It definitely left a mix of tragic and a sweet satisfaction to the end of the film.