Electroshock: An Amusing Character Analysis
By way of Broadsheet.ie, Electroshock is a short film in French directed by Hugo Jackson, Pascal Chandelier, Velentin Michel, Bastein Mortelecque and Elliot Maren, all working out of the Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA, or School of Artistic Trades for those of use who prefer Anglais).
Besides being a slick CGI effort and an original take on the superhero tale, Electroshock is also interesting from a character perspective. Have a watch before we start the Electroshock character analysis:
What did you think? Pretty funny no? A nice bit of slapstick mixed with some drama of sorts always makes for a fun film.
Anyway, what did you think of the characters?
They’re an interesting bunch: the tough-guy sheriff putting on his best sales pitch for the object of his desires, the beautiful and sensitive Mady who has also managed to draw the attention of Buck, the lowly electrician.
Buck is the protagonist, he’s clumsy, he’s clearly got some low self-esteem and he’s very much on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to the ladies. The electric shock he receives from falling from the ladder opens a new facet of his character to us though. He’s also vengeful, cheerfully going about taking the sheriff down a peg or two as soon as he gets the chance.
Beyond that though, he puts forward his best effort. He attempts to do the right thing, we can see that he at least has some heart, but it is all for one reason: Mady. This is even more so the case after he sees her out jogging (in slow-motion of course). Are Buck’s actions selfless or selfish? Ultimately they’re selfish, but his selfless act of throwing himself in front of the truck to save little Niky is what eventually wins Mady over.
However, the sting is in the ending. A year later, and the photographs in the panning shot all but tell the story. Buck is really a [redacted]. He’s clearly a slob, Mady gives him the fourth degree for all his failings(they’re quite a litany), and what does he do? He slows down time to shut her up! Far from winning our sympathy, he’s earned our disgust instead. The six minutes it took him to earn it are completely wiped out in under 10 seconds as we instantly begin to see how Mady was royally duped (the closing shot says it all really).
From a character perspective, Electroshock is unusual in that it has us (the audience) turn against the hero. We’re led down the garden path only to be brought to the outhouse. Yet the short works, we get a laugh and for that we are guilted into pitying the girl. Clearly, you could never get away with this in a feature, but for a short, such a twist works quite well.
By the way, the Electroshock facebook page has a good dose of the concept and original art and is well worth having a look around.