– Review by Maros Pulscak
ARMOUR is an experimental short film directed by Sandro Aguilar. According to the synopsis of the film, a spectator follows a story of a man named Hector, whose life is leading towards the downfall.
Hector wanders around the town and trespasses the landscapes of surrounding nature, wearing the suit of armour. The short film is carefully composed out of shots of the dormant suburb of the town and ageless landscapes. The sequences usually last for a few seconds, which might suggest the dazed narration of Hector’s drunk mind. After the first few shots of the film, the viewer starts to discover that this drunken voyage reflects the feelings that Hector experiences. The film is not crafted in any specific cinematic way, thus it is not aesthetically stylized. However, this is not an imperfection but rather the purpose.
The beautiful meadows, beaches, forests and waterfalls, all these natural environments that are usually used in traditional cinema with the purpose to express joy and happiness. However, Sandro Aguilar decided to shoot in these places explicitly to depict disaster rather than beauty. Through the drunken first-person narration, the viewer starts to feel the pain, sadness and misery. Thus, Hector’s mind and perception are transferred into the overall form of the film. Precisely because of the static shots, film grain, the roughness of the image, and disembodied mise un scene, one gets the feeling of alienation and distance. As the main protagonist, we also become these disembodied entities that walk through the places that used to be part of Hector and his existence.
The film does not say much about Hector and his life, only explains his downfalls. Therefore, it is difficult to define the temporal continuity of the film, as we only see places and things that Hector allows us to see. For this reason, it seems that Hector lives in a series of separate-present moments, which can be defined as a perpetual present. The disability to locate ourselves as the audience in the setting of the film mirrors the experience from Hector’s point of view. This notion is present in the film, as Hector is being drunk throughout the entire run-time of the film. Therefore, we follow the action on the screen through Hector’s point of view, by which we end up trapped in a perpetual present with him, doomed to relive the moments of alienation and melancholy.
In addition, the armour that Hector wears might represent the protection from all the nightmares that he experiences. On the other hand, it might be said that precisely because of the armour, he is not able to confront his fears and falls, which creates this feeling of alienation that is very much present throughout the movie.
While this short film tells a subjective story, through its narration, cinematography and experimental approach, we as viewers are confronted with our fears and downfalls. As being said, I believe every person will find at least one characteristic in the film that might resemble with some part of the viewer’s life.