Short Film Review: True by Tom Tykwer

By Archana Iyer • Published on July 24, 2012

[T]rue is a short film shot in France, articulated in English, directed by a German and stars an American as the female lead. Besides the cultural potpourri, the film is a simple tale of love with universality of appeal. True is directed by Tom Tykwer, acclaimed for films like Run Lola Run and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. The film has a tight script, appealing visuals and uses stop motion graphics to convey the entire breadth of two people’s life together in the span of seven minutes.

This short is a part of Paris, je t’aime (2006), a film comprising 20 short films by many famous directors depicting love in Paris. Tom Tykwer shot the film in a small time span with almost no pre-production, and the result was a tiny masterpiece that according to Tykwer, “symbolises an entire life for me, in just ten minutes.” The cast comprises of petite Hollywood beauty Natalie Portman and French actor Melchoir Beslon.

Beslon plays a blind student who receives a phone call from his girl friend saying that things are over. Hearing these words, he puts the phone down and their entire relationship flashes before his eyes. Starting from the time he first met her when she was auditioning for a film; he recollects every memory of their relationship; small and big. The stop motion filming makes the story intense. It begins as a delicate tale and soon morphs into intense moments of pleasure, pain, love, hate, music and screams. Towards the end, he feels that he has not paid enough attention to his girl and the memory flash ends with his outcry: forgive me Francine. The phone rings again. What happens next is best left for the audience to watch themselves.

True provides a unique sight of Paris with shots of the station and busy streets. It is short in a little known street called Faubourg-Saint-Denis. The background score helps build the intensity, blending perfectly with the stop motion flashback scenes; borrowing deep into each ramification and complexity of their relationship. The repetitive narrative reveals a new meaning to the same words each time. These words: “You screamed. Sometimes with reason. Sometimes without”.

In the end, there’s realization.


Archana Iyer is a Short film enthusiast, scriptwriter, poet and account planner in an ad agency.

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