LOVE IS A STING
Reviewed by Dawn Garcia
Struggling children’s book writer Harold Finch gains an unexpected house guest in the form of an ageing, hyper-intelligent mosquito named Anabel.
Oscar winning screenwriter/director, Benjamin Cleary is a man whose ability to amplify human emotion into words and visual story is like something from writers past. His latest film, “Love Is A Sting” takes loneliness and visually stuns you. Directed by Vincent Gallagher, produced by Ian Hunt Duffy, this film exemplifies why cinematic storytelling is essential to our entire species, well, all species for that matter. The story unfolds as an unlikely hero, a mosquito named Anabel, flies through the air into an open window suffocated by the isolation of a struggling children’s book writer named Harold, desperate to be heard and understood. Anabel has been lonely, traveling unforeseen decades – completely defying the laws of nature and the longevity of a mosquito’s life expectancy – in hopes of communicating with at least one human. She finds Harold. Lost in his pile of rejection letters, on the endless plight of a writer: story unable to be silenced, music within unable to stay inside of him and as his first irritation with a nagging mosquito develops into a bond unexplainable, the loneliness we feel as a spectator suddenly feels slightly less heavy and burdensome. Cleary has once again constructed a tale that quietly observes our most innate desire to feel connected to someone – or something – that truly understands us.
As odd as it seems, in this story, it’s Anabel who gives Harold the courage to live again and write with the wonderment he lost along the way. While moments of sadness and hope find themselves in the swell of indeterminate uncertainty, “Love Is A Sting” is a beautiful, clever short film that doesn’t simply dare you to suspend disbelief but rather compels you to want to see Anabel, the sweetly beautiful mosquito, succeed. A story such as this one is one that I, myself, find to be the cadence of a heart well played and a friendship all too often non-existent. The cinematography is beautiful, the backdrop of Ireland acting as it’s own character with intentional set design that lends itself to the heart of the story, and the lull of Lisa Hannigan’s ballads only add to the richness of the film.
Well done Benjamin … and thank you. Yet again you have managed to write a film that is breathtakingly thoughtful and undeniably honest.