Life can be complicated, and even though we are all traveling through this world together, our journeys are varied. If we are open to the experiences of others, we can learn a lot from them. Sometimes, this education can come during the most unexpected circumstances with the most rewarding takeaway.
In writer-director Martin Monk’s new short film, Favourites, a young rebel, Sofia (Lia Wilfing), receives unexpected guidance via her travel companion, middle-aged somber Michael (Christian Dolezal). Sofia is running to something, searching for her absent father, and Michael is running from something, emotional connections, but their journey together opens each other up to situations they were not ready for.
An angsty teen and a lonesome gentleman aren’t your typical road trip companions, but from the beginning, Sofia and Michael are exactly what each other need. Sofia is the conversationalist, the one who breaks down Michael’s invisible wall. Michael is the protector, the father-type figure she’s been in search for. They always say that opposites attract, but in this case, it’s important.
It’s an example of how sometimes what you need can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Our friends and family have a huge influence on us, but at times their support seems automatic. The most profound leverage one can have over our thoughts are the ones that come from those out of our inner circle. With less of an external connection, we are able to see the genuine internal person, and that is the relationship that formed between Sofia and Michael. They are able to be honest with each other, because there is nothing to lose, and when honesty overtakes ego, the walls come crashing down.
We don’t see much of their journey on film, as it’s only a short, but there is no doubt that the time they spent together was monumental. You can see the changes, even the most minuscule modification can be witnessed in their mannerisms. They each let their guard down, opening up to the lessons they are learning from each other.
The most profound aspect of this story, however, is that the connection formed between the two travel mates is portrayed through the limited dialogue Michael utters. Sofia has always been the instigator during their journey, but it’s the words that Michael has chosen not to share that have the most impact. That impact, however, doesn’t make itself known until their separation. It’s at that moment, when they are on their individual paths once again, that the connection between them was more than sharing the road for a while. That is powerful. The effect we can have on others isn’t always immediately witnessed, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t leave its mark.
The softness of Favourites shines a light on the surprising blessings we sometimes experience as our lives progress. It’s these types of interactions that show just how much we can learn from those around us if we are willing to let our guard down for a moment.
Favourites screened at Cannes on May 22 in the Cinefondation Programme 2 in Salle Bunuel.
Written by Lisa M Mejia
Images provided by the film Favourites