Dried Up is a six minute film that tells the story of an old man in a poverty stricken town. Surrounded by apathy and desolation, he tries desperately to break this mould and bring life into the town that has seemingly lost all hope. The film uses stop motion to great effect; the set is a dry, junk filled wasteland and the old man has a vivid personality etched into his wooden face.
Dried Up has a working class feel to it. There are subtleties throughout, such as a newspaper called ‘Hard Times’ and the old man collecting and recycling rusty pieces of metal, kind of like a post apocalyptic Womble.
Sound is the biggest driving force of the narrative, mainly because there’s very little of it. There’s no dialogue at all, and the sound effects are amplified to emphasise the empty town and the isolation of the protagonist. Every sound you hear, from the howling wind to the clank of metal, is slowly building up to a very powerful and somewhat philosophical conclusion.
Perhaps the most important message of Dried Up is that of compassion. Despite all the aforementioned desolation and apathy, the old man sticks to his core values, and puts the needs of others before him. He isn’t collecting all this junk just for himself, he’s doing it to bring happiness to others, to evoke a lighter and more pleasant atmosphere for everyone. Dried Up has an environmental edge, but it’s strongest message is that of helping your fellow man during a desperate time of need. Definitely an idea worth reiterating in today’s society.