If there is one thing many people have in common, it is our everlasting hate for mosquitos. The longest relationship I personally had with a mosquito was the time it took me to slap its blood sucking sting out of my face or squish it against my leg.

I admit I hate mosquitos; I hate the scratching, the bites, and waking up with red dots all over my body.  That is usually the extent of my relationship with mosquitos. However, the film Love is a Sting by British director Vincent Gallagher decided to play with audience expectations about this usually short, hateful relationship and gives us a …. love story.

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The movie is split into two thematically different parts. After a few scenes of a typical human vs. mosquito interaction, the story changes. It’s no longer a one-man show about an artist trying to deal with the insect terrorizing his house; it becomes a relationship story. Despite the unusual topic, the film remains humorous and doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. The main actor (known to the western audiences from playing the priest slave in the Vikings TV series) doesn’t shy away from the challenge to make a human/mosquito relationship believable. His wide-eyed stare and childlike innocence fits the story perfectly.  Especially as his companion is the animated mosquito, Anabel.

The voice-over by a renowned British actor Ciaran Hinds shapes this unusual relationship into a fairytale, suitable for all ages. Anabel is not your normal blood-sucking menace. She is gifted with human-level intelligence and the lifespan of 20 years, compared to their usual few days. She wants to connect with humans. Anabel the Mosquito is a Disney style insect in a real world of humans. She talks, she interacts with humans, she thinks as we do, has emotions and her own stories to tell. The film does a great job to collect any famous news segments involving mosquitos, making Anabel the protagonist in these historical moments.

Love is a Sting is a film carried by its theme. It offers what it promises; a funny love/relationship story with a mosquito. Not more, not less.  Love is a Sting goes well with the tagline of the festival ‘sending a message of love’. The film definitely portrays an unusual type of love. It may not be love for everyone, but we can’t deny, it’s love that grabs your attention.

Synopsis: Struggling children’s book writer Harold Finch gains an unexpected house guest in the form of an ageing, hyper-intelligent mosquito named Anabel.

Love is a sting (The United Kingdom, 2015, 18 min)

Director: Vincent Gallagher

 

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