“Falling in love is the worst thing I have ever done”; what makes a young, smiling college boy utter these words?
[R]ole Reversal by Canadian writer and director Jakub Roman is an epiphany in exactly three minutes and thirty six seconds. It is a monologue by the protagonist on love. He is confused why a feeling so beautiful can generate so much hate. Shot in black and white with a powerful music score, Role Reversal depicts a world where heterosexuals are a minority while homosexuals are free to express their love. The short opens the eyes of the viewer to a shocking realization that ‘the majority’ should not be defining what is normal and what should be ostracized. It compels the viewer to put himself in the shoes of the other.
Role Reversal begins with a monologue interspersed with close shots of kisses between the protagonist and her. The smile on his face is enough to convey that he is deeply in love. Shots of judgmental stares from gay couples make the protagonist uncomfortable. Towards the end, he is brutally assaulted and scarred by a gay couple. He is found in a restroom; his face smeared with blood.
The short follows a non-linear narrative structure revealing the end of the story in the beginning itself. It is only during the climax that all the pieces of the puzzle come together making the audience gape in response to the transpired event.
The short film succeeds not only by getting a powerful message across but also by making a bold attempt at changing perception. Role Reversal is indeed a revelation and three minutes and thirty six seconds well spent.
Archana Iyer is a short film enthusiast, scriptwriter, poet and brand architect.