The One Note Man, a short film directed by George Siougas, is much more than a one note story. Telling the tale of an orchestra member who’s uncommon instrument is only needed for a singular note in his symphony, the film delivers a story of love and hope. Taking place in December, the One Note Man preps for the symphony the same way every day, which the film shows us through montage sequences. The One Note Man (Jason Watkins) lives a lonesome life, but he doesn’t realize how lonely he truly is until he notices the violinist (Louisa Clein) in his orchestra and becomes smitten with her. As the title would hint, the main character not only plays a singular note in the orchestra, but he lives his life by routine – following the same, predictable, one note life. Yet, when love creeps in, his world is turned upside down in the best possible way.
As the One Note Man begins to find joy in life again, foregoing some of his daily routine in order to buy the violinist flowers, we get to follow along on his journey. The music (Stephen Warbeck) adds a beautiful element to the scenes, as it follows the arc of the story. As not just characters in the film, but the people behind the music, the orchestra delivers a stunning performance.
Watkins gives us a phenomenal performance as the titular character. With very little dialogue throughout the film, his performance carries the story. The character itself is so immediately lovable, a sweet older man living alone, pursuing his passion despite how unconventional it may be. Watkins could not have been a better pick for the role. He is charming, and despite some of the scenes showing repetition, he manages to bring new feelings to them each and every time. Another standout role is that of the conductor (Crystal Yu). Yu has no dialogue, showing her frustration with the Man’s inconsistent playing through her expressions and the way she carries herself. Although she isn’t a major character, she sparks laughter through her anger towards him and puts a smile on our face when she encourages the love that blooms in her orchestra.
The set design is another admirable part of the film. Bursting with color, the One Note Man’s house is a strong contrast to the dreariness of the outdoors and the starkness of the orchestra theater. His home gives us a sense of peace, while the orchestra is full of controlled chaos. The sets are crafted beautifully to add to the overall feel of the film without distracting from the story. Siougas, who also wrote the script, obviously had a clear vision – which is communicated perfectly to the audience.
The One Note Man is a beautiful film that proves that you can find love at any age. Through both comedic and heartfelt moments, The One Note Man will hold your attention. . . to the very last note.