It’s hard to imagine a powerful message in just 13 minutes, but that’s exactly what Barry Worthington (Writer, Director and Editor) set out to do – and accomplished – in BUMMER.
BUMMER opens up with a mother/daughter road trip from Maryland to Florida. Mom (Marili Mejias ) is in the driver’s seat – literally and figuratively – driving to a job promotion in Florida after working hard to make her dream of a better life a reality for her and her daughter.
Her daughter (Hope Perry) sits reluctantly in the back seat. No teenager wants to be uprooted during school years from friends – even for sunshine and palm trees.
Mom is on a high in the car trying to convince her daughter how amazing their new life will be that awaits them. She explains that hard work pays off.
Shortly into their journey, there is a news flash over the radio by the President of the United States (Worthington) that due to budget cuts, an asteroid will be destroying the world and killing mankind in a matter of hours. This brings the road trip to a halt. The car pulls over on the side of the road as Mom – who worked so hard for a new life – realizes that the rug has just been pulled out from underneath her – permanently.
Short of throwing a temper tantrum, the mother loses her cool in the car about how unfair this news is – while her daughter takes on the more adult role of staying calm and wanting her last hours to have meaning.
The daughter gets out of the car – as the mother rants on – and starts enjoying the playground across the way. The mother regains her composure and goes and joins her daughter – sharing that she is every wish she’s ever wished for.
Solid performances by both Mejias and Perry.
There were some issues with sound in the beginning. Cinematography (Michelle Hernandez), Music (Barry Worthington).
Listed as a drama, the film has elements of sci-fi and comedy. It could have better served the mood of the script if the announcement of the end of the world was done in a less comedic way.
Worthington keeps simplicity with his storytelling by using only two locations. He makes an ordinary story – take on an extraordinary message – because of the life and death circumstances surrounding it.
The beauty of this filmmaker’s message is a reminder that we are all running out of time. We all have big dreams for tomorrow but counting on tomorrow is a gamble – for all of us.