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Complaint [Peirui Yang, China/Spain, 2021]

Complaint is a very artistic short that seems to have a sort of science fiction story about the evolution of man and the dangers of artificial intelligence. It tells all this through a form of shadow puppetry along with a narration reading a monologue of poetry. The short appears to take inspiration from the films of David Lynch. This comparison comes from the sense that the visuals are all incredibly artistic and bold whilst also not really being fully connected to the lines of the script.

The script itself is very surrealist and, while there are tangible points where what is being said starts to become clear, the overall picture is a little less obvious. Complaint is surely the type of film that you could watch over and over again finding different aspects that you never really took note of before. It is also a short that certainly has a lot more meaning than its surface level would suggest.

The quality of the film itself is great too, considering that it was created by just one person. The visuals and art, though very abstract, are very pleasing to look at, but the audio is where Complaint really shines. The voice of the narrator is very soothing and an absolute joy to listen to. The music that plays throughout is also fantastically produced and is a pleasure on the ears.

Sadly, one slight gripe is that the subtitles at the bottom of the screen that translate the narrator are rather small and could be hard for certain people to read. This is obviously to draw more attention to the visuals but surely the narration is just as important so making sure that people are able to understand is a must.

Complaint is a brilliant assault on the senses. It looks, sounds and feels marvellous. It’s definitely a film that could be used as a way to develop mindfulness and tranquility.


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