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If Anything Happens I Love You – Message and Review

Filed in Articles, Entertainment by on July 30, 2021

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If anything happens I love you wordlessly depicts the grief of senseless loss that parents, families, and friends suffer in the aftermath of school and other shootings. The title words come from the last text sent home by a young student shot shortly after hitting “send.”

The makers of this film use shadows to express the parents’ changeable inner feelings, including rage, depression, guilt, shame, and longing.

If Anything Happens I Love You – The Masterpiece

Directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govieras, “If Anything Happens I Love You” is a heartbreaking ode to families grieving the loss of a loved one taken by a mass shooting. 

The subtle symbols and artwork in the animated movie illustrate the unspoken grief felt by families who have lost a loved one to mass gun violence.

If Anything Happens I Love You is about a married couple struggling to keep their lives together after losing their daughter due to a school shooting. At the beginning of the film, they are sitting at one end of the table, saying nothing.

They have different fond memories of their daughter, which eventually unites them in their daughter’s room, and gives them peace. The only characters are the mother, father, and daughter. They are shadowy figures of themselves that are a significant factor in the couple staying together. 

If Anything Happens I Love You Review

Despite being an animated film, the short takes more plain and subtle approaches in its direction. The plain directorial choices for the design, colouring, and theme each enhance the power of the film and help illustrate the story of the grieving parents it is centred on. 

The movie is inspired by real-life events. It mirrors the events that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the school, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

In If Anything Happens I Love You, the couple’s daughter texts her parents as the shooting is happening, similar to what the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School did.

The movie has a unique animation style. Everything looks like a sketch which I think could be the daughter’s paintings.

The background is also whitish-grey, with watercolour. It symbolizes the emptiness the parents feel and actual family members who have lost someone to school shootings. Most of the film is in black-and-white, with some things in vibrant colour.

A stated before, there are fond memories that unite the couple together, and these trigger objects are in colour. The mother sees one of her daughter’s shirts, which is a light blue.

It takes her back to when her family went on a road trip and viewed the sunset (which was a wonderful blend of oranges and reds). 

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If Anything Happens I Love You

If Anything Happens I Love You Further Review

The father’s memories originate from a hole on the outside of their house. The hole is also a light blue. It happened when he and the daughter were playing soccer, him being the goalie; the daughter kicked it hard enough to create a dent in the wall, chipping off the paint. 

Another object in full colour is the American flag at the daughter’s school. This short film was clearly made as a message to the United States; practically shouting at them to do something about these school killings

This is so because, no other parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or cousin has to go through an experience like this; so that children do not have to be wary when going to school.

“If Anything Happens I Love You” isn’t a film made to show viewers the lives of the perpetrators of mass gun violence — it is a film that shows the life of a victim’s family left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

It feels real and unfettering in its need to show viewers just a minute glimpse into the reality of grieving parents who are lost in a pit of sorrow and hurt.

We find out that the title If Anything Happens I Love You, was the daughter’s last words to her parents, as she sends them the message on her phone minutes before gunshots are heard in the background.

In its 12 minutes, “If Anything Happens I Love You” does what many full-length films and television shows fail to do: confront grief for what it is. It doesn’t hide behind dialogue, flashy designs, or other animation tropes; it shows you grief and the process of anger, pain, and the road to healing.

This Netflix’s 12-minute animated film If Anything Happens I love You is highly recommended for everyone.

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