Mars, a song by musician Yungblud gets a cinematic adaptation with Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney as the lead directed by Abel Rubinstein.
Mars was screened as part of the London Film Festival 2022. All words of this review were written entirely by the writers at Cinamore.
Mars, the song from which the short is adapted, by musician Yungblud, real name Dominic Harrison, tells the story of a transwoman who fails to be accepted by her family, and as such finds comfort elsewhere, through the metaphorical absence of Mars being a projection of the loneliness transgender people experience.
While the short adaptation directed by Abel Rubinstein may not truly hit exactly the emotive beats audiences will expect it to, what it instead does is tell a self-contained story of a young Blackpoolian transwoman Charlie Acaster (Yasmin Finney) on one night attending a transgendered support group.
Juxtaposing Charlie’s reluctance to be present in the group with a shot of them as an astronaut emphasises their desire to escape and it is this theme that is built on across the short. Fighting for acceptance and true belonging.
Only upon coming back to planet Earth does she share remarks expressing their discontent for being at the support group, remarking that, unlike others, her family hadn’t rejected her, yet still chooses to use her metaphoric astral projection as a place of sanctity.
In truth, the emotive beats of Finney’s performance here work best in an audience’s reflection of our wider society with the third act allowing time for a pause on the purpose of the astronomy-based imagination.
Mars serves not just primarily as an adaptation but as a tool to allow a window into the daily anxieties of transgendered individuals and their feeling of belonging.
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