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Hannah's Boring Life

by Toot Toot

Hannah is watching Shortland Street.


You know how I have fairly regularly commented about not liking narration too much in 48Hours? Well Toot Toot sent me spinning back to my cave with a delirious meta take that flipped the script on the required elements of this competition without actually breaking the fourth wall. Props also for the burns on Shortland Street and the banality of TV addiction.

The opening shot was just genius. Literally as I'm about to jod down tedious long shot not developing the plot or character, I had it done for me to my wide eyed surprise. From there, things got weird in the best possible way with a script that kept one step ahead of any competition jaded viewers at all times.

Ever fed up with an omnipotent narrator? Well Hannah does her best to do something about it and prove that her so called boring life is not so boring after all.

Lead actress = outstanding. Script fantastic. Lighting excellent. My biggest concern is actually if this fit the box for the genre. I absolutely loved all of the subvervise and meta elements in general, but I felt like the riddle with the clock ticking was arguably throway for a joke rather than central to the plot in terms of Hannah's race against time.

Story: 4/5
Technical: 4/5
Elements: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Toot Toot strikes again! I can’t get over how on top of 48Hours meta humour you guys are. My only concern was that the riddle at the end didn’t actually make sense? Or at least I just didn’t understand how either of them was a reluctant hero. I thought the answer to the riddle was going to be Jesus. It just being the narrator perhaps felt a little too easy, but I do really like the twist at the end! (And he’s right, Shortland Street isn’t that bad)

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There is no more "48hours" 48hours team than Toot Toot. They manage every year to find a new, creative, clever, hilarious way to poke fun at the competition, creating complex, bizarre and meta jokes that would feel like nonsense to anyone outside the competition. They obliterate the key judging criterion of "how well would this play outside 48hours"...and yet, they're SO clever and SO funny that they will always make the finals, which is their target audience anyway.

Hannah's Boring Life is a departure from previous Toots in that there are no strange visual effects sequences, no incongruous cutaway jokes, and surprisingly little direct fourth-wall breaking. Instead, it's a minimalist journey into the head and heart of an omniscient narrator stuck narrating the titular boring life, driven almost entirely by its script and two lead actors.

It's almost beside the point to talk about story here, but it's a pretty good one - an existential crisis for a character obsessed with TV, which I'm sure we can all relate to. The back-and-forth between Hannah and her narrator is clever, funny, and well-delivered, and though a lot of it doesn't make logical sense, it sort of sweeps you up in its theoretical babble to the point that it doesn't matter - you still get what's broadly going on (similar to Pie Face's "Time Saver," but with a totally different vibe). Great ending, too; a perfect inversion of its opening. Visually, as I say, it's minimalist, so there's not a lot to talk about, but the triumphant moment of element-fulfilling violence towards the end is pretty sweet. Days after seeing it though, I think the boom mic is the only bit of fourth-wall breaking that doesn't fit - a production-centric joke clangs ever so slightly coming at the end of a film so tightly focused on the actors and narration.

Will definitely make finals, will definitely get some award nominations, and could be a potential dark-horse candidate for a top-three placement if the judges warm to the story. Overall score: -995.5 points, after being docked a thousand for dissing the era of Shortland Street during which I was writing it.

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