As C’Mo puts it, PTSD doesn’t let you forget and dementia does not let you remember. And both are personal hells for the ones affected. In Allie Light and Patrick Stark directed Any Wednesday, the old walk-and-talk routine brings together a homeless war vet and an octogenarian on a rainy night.
For both, rain means trouble: C’Mo (Shane Dean) does not have a home to shelter him. Agnes (Mary Black) cannot always remember to turn on the wipers while driving a car. If only from a practical point of view, their temporary bond brings them both a measure of safety. Brought together by Agnes’ flat tire, C’Mo (real name Moses) and Agnes (who he fondly begins to call Ag) spend two hours in each others’ company, driving in the rain, binging food by the corner of a convenience store, seeing each other in all their vulnerability. C’Mo perhaps a shade worse than Agnes; the street does not help recover from trauma. Everything is as things in reality are, but they are merely diagrammatical and lack life. The drama frequently threatens to fizzle out; even when C’Mo has a panic attack, it feels merely demonstrative.
Dean’s character receives most of the focus but his performance lacks in authenticity while Black has little to do besides listen. Fortunately both have their decisive moments and both actors shoulder them with grace. For Dean, it is C’Mo’s Wednesday monologue and for Black, it is only one word: Grief. She fills the word with all the advice and parenting that she cannot present to him in words. There is neither the time nor such circumstances.
They bond over their fond memories of kindergarten; she used to be a teacher, and for C’Mo, it clearly belonged to a different time– which, if not ideal, it was at least less difficult. Editing cuts out too much of this scene to allow it to leave an impression. Instead, it leaves a feeling of having missed its crucial pieces.
What Any Wednesday leaves you feeling is that the relationship was entirely transient; nothing is to be continued beyond the corner store. The smallest, most fragile hope that the film affords is that it will add meaning to C’Mo’s lonely life.#ShortFilmReview: Any Wednesday: Is it better to never forget or never remember? Click To Tweet