Can you tell a love story without words? According to Irish writer/director Graham Jones you can. His new romantic feature The Randomers, released freely online in time for Valentines Day, attempts to tell the love story of two strangers brought together by a twenty three year old woman’s slightly bizarre dating ad.
A 23 year old girl (Sarah Jane Murphy) on the west coast of Ireland posts a weirdly worded dating ad which is soon answered by the ideal guy (Joseph Lydon). Writer and director of the feature Graham Jones says ‘there’s something about him she doesn’t know, but he’s not going to be chatty about it’.
Creating a film with no dialogue is no mean feat and for a feature length film is a risky move, but Graham Jones somehow manages to pull it off, creating a believable love story and characters that we eventually grow to relate to. While the lack of dialogue does at times leave lots of silent long takes that occasionally drag, as a whole the concept works nicely. It’s an odd setup, for most people the beginning of a relationship is full of conversation and laughter, but we have all been in that position where it’s difficult to express how you feel in words and the lack of dialogue really allows the actors to explore other ways of expressing themselves and the characters they’re playing. While the 70 minute feature feels like it could have been compacted into a much shorter film, the slow, poetic pace only adds to the beauty of this strange yet oddly familiar love story.
The performances of the two lead actors bring something special to this odd little film. It can’t be easy to pull off acting without dialogue but both Sarah Jane Murphy and Joseph Lydon manage to bring something deep and relatable to their roles. We know nothing about these two characters other than what we can see, yet somehow we are able to build an understanding of who they are. A mixture of clever direction and solid performances have enabled The Randomers to be a quirky and completely compelling indie romance.
It is a shame that The Randomers didn’t benefit from a larger budget; the locations hold great potential for a visually beautiful piece of cinema but the occasionally shaky camerawork does detract very slightly from the beauty of the surroundings.
The Randomers is certainly something different for Valentines Day. A love story without words might not be for everyone but it’s definitely one worth checking out. We can all relate to those moments when words seem impossible and The Randomers is a beautiful example of how love blossoms in the strangest of ways.
The film is available freely online and you can check out the Facebook page for more information. Or you can stick around here and read some exclusive interviews with lead actress Sarah Jane Murphy, lead actor Joseph Lydon and writer/director Graham Jones as part of Films and Things’ Valentines Special!