Relationships are complicated; friendships even more so, often harder to define and maintain, especially when we are young. The Gossip, set in the English coastal town of Margate, revolves around two best friends. Outgoing Meesha is excited about planning a birthday party for her best friend, Kirsty, who is comparatively introverted, shy, and going through a tough time.
The story kicks off when Kirsty fails to show up for her birthday celebration, causing Meesha to throw a tantrum, refusing to empathise with Kirsty upon hearing her explanation. Seeing that the whole exchange occurs over the phone makes it easy for both friends to play the victim. The scene deftly highlights the irony of tele- and web communications’ supposed ability to help us stay connected with our loved ones, but equally possessing the power to terminate relationships too.
Director, Rolfin Nyhus, stated his awareness of the potential consequences of a male director depicting female characters in a hysterical way: “I wanted to approach these characters with empathy and on their own terms,” and his approach is successful – you will find yourself empathising with both characters.
This short film is aided by a talented female-led cast, an amazing script, and sublime cinematography, which make the conversations and scenes feel authentic and raw. In under 13 minutes, and with only four characters, the film manages to tell a deep and tragic story about just how easy destroying close friendships can be.