Here's the thing about OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
It can be, well, rather irritating.I guess I should say, more accurately, that those individuals diagnosed with OCD can be rather irritating. They can be irritating at home. They can be irritating in relationships. They can be irritating at work.
They can just plain be irritating.
So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that for the first couple minutes of Lucy Joan Barnes's 18-minute short film For Want of a Nail that I found Marty, played to perfection by Clark Alexander, a rather irritating fellow.
That's not the point, of course, of For Want of a Nail, a film endorsed by OCD action and a film written by Nicholas Thomson that comically yet powerfully captures Marty's world according to Marty's constantly challenging mind. The film rather ingeniously shows the inner trappings of Marty's mind as his "perfect day" begins to disappear and we learn, rather poignantly, just how complex are the subconscious sacrifices that Marty makes as he works, sometimes moment by moment, to keep his anxieties at bay.
It takes a couple minutes into For Want of a Nail to realize that the film, despite its at times lighter approach, is not actually a comedy. Instead, that comical reaction is, I'd dare say, is a result of the ways in which my non-OCD mind works to process everything that unfolds as Marty works to deal with a girlfriend, ably played by Lisa Opara, who has become increasingly frustrated by his out of control symptoms and with a sister, played by Thomasin Lockwood, who embodies that sense of familial compassion yet weariness.
D.P. Yana Cairns's lensing is quietly intimate and sensitive, while the original score Alex Williamson serves as a stellar companion to Marty's complex, layered and ever changing journey. The film also features excelleng original music by Graeme Clark and Foretaste.
From beginning to end, it is obvious that the entire crew for For Want of a Nail is passionate about an accurate, honest portrayal of OCD and the daily ins and outs of life with the challenging mental illness. Even having on crew an OCD advisor, Kasha Khan, For Want of a Nail is an intelligent, respectful film that manages to tell its truth while still entertaining along the way. The film is just beginning its festival journey and should have no problem finding a home on the indie fest circuit.
For more information on For Want of a Nail, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic