Happy Melancholy (2014) – By Philip Smolen


A young man named Gene (Chris Gibson) is running down a corridor trying to escape, when he sees a young woman named Penny (Heidi Valkenburg) running towards him. When they meet up, Gene and Penny hide in a nearby janitor closet while they wait for their pursuers to go away. Then Gene and Penny open the door and are thrust into a beautiful meadow filled with flowers. Gene is smitten with Penny as she is with him, and they begin to form a bond with each other. But Gene becomes troubled when he sees that he’s being followed by that big yellow banana guy (Mathew Santilli). He tries to warn Penny about him, but she just doesn’t understand who Gene is referring to.

“Happy Melancholy” is a short film from writer/director Diorella Mirasol and it’s a fun look at fantasy versus reality. Gene and Penny aren’t in control of their lives but they wish that they were. They escape to a world that they both create, but even there reality (in the form of the Banana Man) constantly intrudes on their happiness.

Mirasol loves these two odd characters and she clearly wants them to be happy. They’re both unusual and quirky but this strangeness is what makes them so fascinating and endearing. They see things differently than the rest of us and this is what allows them to create an entire world for themselves.

Although it not difficult to figure out where Gene and Penny really are, this knowledge doesn’t detract from the movie’s enjoyment. “Happy Melancholy” is a sweet film that celebrates individuality and those people who can break away from the chains that bind them. Writer/director Mirasol has made a poignant short film that successfully resonates emotionally as well. It’s an oddly likable movie, much like the early works of Tim Burton.

For more information on “Happy Melancholy”, please go to:  https://www.facebook.com/happymelancholymovie/timeline and http://www.diorellamirasol.com/#/happymelancholy