Video Review: Jess Glynne “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”          

A young man sits in his mom’s truck. He didn’t want to move. However, he and his mom didn’t have much choice . His mom asks him to help with the boxes. With a long face, he picks up a cardboard box full of plates and takes a look at his new neighborhood.
While unpacking, he gets a picture frame of his father and sets it on the nightstand alongside the sympathy card. He wishes he could have his father back again. The kind words help but can’t make him whole again.

In an empty music room, Jess Glynne relaxes on a chair, thinking of how she could reach her students from her own story. She was once like the young man, believing nothing would be all right.

In the chair, he stares down at the floor. In the corner, the ghost of his father stands over him, watching. His father sits down next to him and pats him on the shoulder. The young man gets out his drumsticks. His father demonstrates how to move them. He looks at the picture again, wanting another moment.

The young man visits the drumline after school and watches them outside the door. One of the members sees him there and shuts the door in his face.

Back home, his father puts a comforting hand on his shoulder. His father decides to show him how to play.

Outside the school, the drumline marches. The young man watches them from the curb, sticks in his hands, imitating their moves. He tries to befriend the group but he gets beaten up by the leader. When he comes home, his mother notices right away. He doesn’t bother hiding it and turns his head to show his mom the bruise. She touches it and wants to know what happened. But he doesn’t want to talk.

Alone in his room, his father teaches him the footwork needed. With his father’s help, he practices more and eventually learns an entire song. His father, proud of him, kisses on the head and gives him a hug.

The drumline continues to march, with Glynne at the head of it.

The next day, the young man returns to the band room, playing his drum. The leader tries to push him out of the door but the young man pushes back, staring him down. The leader is impressed and lets him into the group. At the group photo, the young man smiles. Playing has given him so much happiness. He plays for his father one more time. Looking at the photo, he smiles, knowing he has inspired him even though he is no longer alive. In the kitchen, he sees his mom and gives her a hug. She pats him on the back, glad to see her son well again.

Rating: 4.5/5

It’s a touching story. Seeing the young man hug his father, knowing in heaven, his father is proud, is bittersweet. He has finally comes to terms with the loss and has begun to move on. Meanwhile, his father can be in peace, knowing his son is no longer broken.

The story is so well done that Glynne seems to be extraneous at times. It’s better to see her as a teacher, giving her some purpose. Other than marching with the drumline, she stays out of the action and lets the story breathe.

     Director: Declan Whitebloom  Year: 2015


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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