This film shows Jake (Colin Morgan), a young man who returns to Blackpool, his childhood coastal town. He walks around the beach, tormented, disoriented, and immersed in his mind after the death of his father. He resolves to commit suicide since the grief and loss are too much for him to bear. That’s when he meets and saves a troubled young lady (Kerrie Hayes).
The short film was directed by Linda Heymann, who herself came into contact with her loved ones depression and suicides, and this film’s purpose was to raise awareness of the said mental illness. This film was made for free essentially and all the team were very understanding and supportive of the cause, they gladly contributed.
Colin Morgan’s depiction of the suicidal man was breathtaking. The film itself didn’t involve a lot of dialogue because it simply didn’t need to. All we have to do is watch and observe Morgan’s mannerisms, and his eyes were transparent to the matter. Even Linda was enamoured by him and forgot where she was when they were filming and asked Colin if he was okay, it wasn’t long before she realized that he was only acting. Absolutely brilliant. The crew also shed tears. The atmosphere also fits well with his dark performance, the gloomy and lonely scenery, the cinematography, the music that felt like silence but still hold so much power.
The short film was empty and full at the same time. We could feel how numb and empty Jake’s character was without even having heard him say a word, The grey emotions envelop our hearts as well as the screen.
The film’s message is vital as it is full of hope. That our situations can turn to a new page at any time in our lives by any occurrence, no matter how small the happening was. And in The Laughing King, Jake lifted himself from his misery by saving another troubled soul. When all seems lost, wait a few moments before choosing to end everything, you never know what might happen.