a reflection on simplicity.


Written by Gunn

Bait is a stand-alone solitary film, set on the southwestern tip of England, we follow the humble protagonist Martin leading the front line battle for local fishing against the newly reigned tourists. Critics and audiences have welcomed the film with jazz hands, circling Mark Jenkin's acuity of film making. With an unsettling pandemic spreading through the world, I want to reassure civilians' by drawing on the messages Bait conveys to a world relying heavily on erratic pleasures, to question how we view our own simplicity in our day to day lives. 

I can openly admit it, I'm yet to burrow myself into a marathon of classical films. However, I understood the uniqueness of making a feature film on a grainy clockwork camera, breaking away from the all to familiar contemporary form of 21st-century cinema. The comparative themes between new and old give the ideal juxtaposition, unveiling a hilariously entertaining story in a modest fishing town. Actor Edward Rowe worked exceptionally as Martin, being the crowning balance of aggression and tenderness needed to drive the narrative. In modern-day films, we rarely get to see the camera focus so regularly on nature, especially British nature. Mark draws us deep into the alluring scenery, moving the camera inside the fish's eyes of the breaking waves at sea, providing a world of surroundings. While so many of us sit inside counting days of imprisonment, the film reminds us not to bypass these moments with nature but to appreciate what we see and do with patience and contentment.  

There is an array of techniques the director uses to slow the pace of the film, creating simplicity for the viewer. He steers away from the overdramatic edits, the powering sound efforts, and panning camera explosions to give the audience deliberate slow shots of intensity. In his Q & A session with Film Critic Mark Kermode, the director mentioned how he broke down the shots from eight to seven. From the experimental techniques used, it made me question our own fast-paced society, and why we have such adversities in facing simplicity.


Initially engaging in the film, having immersed myself with upcoming SFX's movies in recent weeks, it took me a moment to moderate, step back and view this film for its artistry charm. As we now face restraints by the government on leaving our owns homes due to this devastating epidemic, we are once again challenged to look at life in its minimalistic form. By witnessing Martin collecting cash in his tin, or scenes with the men catching fish along the beach for dinner, the film helps us realise that life can still be relished in these uncertain times by slowing down routines and appreciating what we have right in front of us. 


“...The issues are all the same, which in some ways is quite depressing, but its quite invigorating and uplifting, that we are all exactly the same, we might talk a bit different we all have our own needs, fears, and dreams...there is a universality to it which has probably been the most rewarding thing to this film,” Mark Jenkins, Director of Bait.

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