Watching Lauren Rothery’s short film, Shelly, I couldn’t help but think of Felicity.
Felicity joined my 10th grade class mid year back in high school. She was a warm, eager, kooky girl who lacked subtly in her search for her identity and place in the world. At the time, I did not know what to make of her, and so I didn’t do much to help cushion her fragile bones as they navigated the lonely school hallways and loud concrete playgrounds. Watching footage of this film’s lead character and namesake, Shelly, through the eyes of Mitch, was like watching old VHS footage of Felicity. I want to reach out to the screen and hug her as she laments that Seahorse’s are ‘just fish… they look special, but they’re not’, and in turn, reconcile my own past. This is what this film will do to you. It will make you revisit those people in your life whose quirks unnerved you so you mocked them, only to find yourself years later completely moved by their mystery. Everybody has a Shelly in their lives—prepare to run into yours.
As you watch the heart wrenchingly earnest Shelly set about to make her film about Imogen, a lovesick Seahorse, you fall in love with the underwater world her mind spends all day swimming in. What a sad, sweet, and beautiful little film. Like hitting your funny bone and wincing while you laugh and rub the sore part.