Mental illness is a darkness that follows around the afflicted like a long night that leaves the day no where in sight. The condition also puts a dim view on loved ones who are left at a loss in the face of an illness that they cannot see or understand. Tragic from both sides, Directors Harry Boulton, Gabriel Goss and Jude Wakeley take on the issue of mental health and the ties that suffer in a 12 minute conceptual film.
Lost Bond begins with a menacing dark figure who conjures images of hell and a long tether into the far reaches of our minds. Accompanied by some equally eerie background notes, the prospects can’t be good.
But most of us live in the world of light, and respite comes in the form of two young girls traipsing along the beach. Life is good as Harry Steele’s cinematography captures the tide of a new day, and the uplifting piano score by James Grout Smith, Safia Kazim and Charles Mathias reinforces the point.
The truth is, though, that the shroud can cover any of us at any moment. So the lights go out again and any of us gets a viewing. A couple fighting, a man self medicating and a compulsive writer scribbling frantically, the disarray ricochets across the screen via Steele’s skillful editing and reveals that the veil can come in many forms.
Ollie (Ollie Palmer) is at least getting some help. “I think we can safely say from what you shared today that you are suffering from clinical depression,” diagnoses the therapist.
No kidding, Palmer’s eye’s lament. The mental health professional doesn’t inspire much hope either. Her delivery assures that everything is going to be ok, and the disconnect makes one thing clear. She’s obviously never had a mental illness.
The table is now set for more of the same lack of understanding. Thus, Ollie embarks for a rendezvous with Lucy (Lucy Hunt) and choosing a dimly lit forest as the setting, foretells the foreboding to come.
Add in the dark knight from above, and the direction feels like Ollie is being stalked. Of course, the demon can’t be seen by Lucy so the distraction that can often prevail under depression is misinterpreted. “What’s up with you lately,” Lucy’s frustration begs for an explanation.
She presses Ollie on his “bad mood,” and by default, Lucy’s judgment makes his condition seem like a choice. Of course, a reactive response is almost impossible to avoid for Ollie. “Now, I come up to see you and you’re going to give me this,” Palmer expresses the pain like he’s been through it himself.
So if the solitary nature of mental illness isn’t bad enough, the impassioned and realistic back and forth between Palmer and Hunt shows how easily friendship can fall prey and up the isolation. Lucy does eventually see, though. But many would look at Ollie’s normal exterior and extol their exasperation. “Snap out of it, man.”
The youth would love to oblige. But shaking the darkness doesn’t simply come with the dawn – no matter how straightforward it seems.
Worse yet, the light that may surround us at the moment can quickly fade, and returning to the gleeful girls at the beginning, we are warned in no uncertain terms that the night could fall on any of us.