Film Review | Soup of the Day (2013)

Film run-time: 3 minutes | Starring Alexander Ary, Susie Arioli
Written and Directed by Lynn Smith, Music by Alexander Ary, Composited and Edited by Benoit Chagnon

Soup of the Day“, a 2013 short film by Lynn Smith, is a kaleidoscopic tapestry of one couple’s dining experience, narrated by song and animated with an ever-morphing array of colours and contours. Frustrated by his wife’s exacting dining standards, a man sings of his reasons for ordering the soup of the day, recounting her past antics and present objections to various foods.

Drawn in a swirling pattern of figures and foods that float in from the void as though coming to life at that instant, Smith’s film is a larger-than-life soiree of flavours, wobbling from one distended close-up to another, creating a viewing experience that delights the senses with its kineticism. Portraying a restaurant as a jumble of heads and opinions, the film is replete with resplendent colours and movement.

Touching on a topic of marital bliss, there is a kinship between the visuals and that of the narrative unfolding: like the couple in debate in the restaurant, as in elsewhere, there is a push-pull of any relationship, that requires a compromise and a healthy humour about it. Understanding his wife’s tendency to order what he has ordered, or her simple penchant for soup, a victory is accomplished.

Visually, Lynn’s animation seems to reflect, with an impressionistic zeal, the capricious nature of the mind; both husband and wife drift about the restaurant, mentally and physically, as well as through their own memories of the cherished and not-so-cherished past. As a desirable depiction of the tug of wills that is part and parcel of any union, “Soup of the Day” is a light reminder of the recipe for harmony.

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