SUMMARY: A boy experiences instances of bullying and rejection throughout his young life that impact on his later life, triggered by an online friend request from a former tormentor.
WHY IT’S HERE: Eamonn O’Neill’s student film ‘I’m Fine Thanks’ is a fantastic glimpse at the increasingly fragile psychological state of a man who has suffered mistreatment all his life. There is a thin vein of black humour throughout the film but it is largely subservient to the genuine drama of watching a quiet, unassuming individual come unpicked. O’Neill updates this narrative staple by having the individual’s collapse triggered by an online friend request from a former bully who is clearly either oblivious of or unmoved by the effect her former actions have had. O’Neill works with a bright colour palette but its incongruously joyous look is drowned in the grim narrative. These bright colours are used brilliantly to portray the mounting tension in the protagonist’s head as his face rapidly changes shape and hue. Although it has a definite ending to the story, ‘I’m Fine Thanks’ also leaves us pondering whether this is reality or just another of the main character’s visions. Whichever way you view it, ‘I’m Fine Thanks’ offers a downbeat vision in which no catharsis is found in revenge and no victory derived from passivity. The film’s major victory is in making the viewer consider to what extent they have contributed to the suffering of others and perhaps rethink their future actions.