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14 November 2021

The greatest gift of all

by Jason Stone

Amazon: “Kindness, The Greatest Gift” - 2 mins 30s

This moving commercial for Amazon identifies 'kindness' as the greatest gift it's possible to receive at Christmas... and who could argue that? The film introduces us to a young woman who is struggling in a new setting she's at university, and her coursework looks demanding. On top of that, she appears overwhelmed by life in the city. It's a sharp depiction of a burgeoning mental health crisis.

The incorporation of Adele's as yet unreleased song 'Hold On' is a real coup, but don't let the Cockney chanteuse's warbling distract from the excellent sound design as it reinforces our sense of the protagonist's difficulties.

Luckily for this young woman, a kindly neighbour has noticed her plight. She appears to guess that a direct approach will not be welcomed, but she wants to help and clearly understands the value of a simple act of kindness.

The advertised service plays a part in her plan, as you'd expect, but there's no heavy handedness in evidence, and this ensures that we never lose sight of the story we're being told. The climax of the film, and indeed it's emotional heart lies in the expression of gratitude at the end. Actor Karene Peter conveys so much with the slightest gesture, and director Trey Edward Shults deserves a lot of credit for coaxing such subtle performances from both his leads.

Lucky Generals continue to deliver fine work for Amazon, especially at the two big advertising moments on either side of the Atlantic: Christmas in the UK, and the Super Bowl in the US. Indeed, there are now a number of Christmas institutions rivalling the dominance of John Lewis, and Amazon's annual salvo is rapidly becoming one of them.

Creative Agency: Lucky Generals Ⓟ Ⓦ
Film Production: Academy Films Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Producer: Jacob Swan Hyam
Cinematographer: Drew Daniels
Editor: Russell Icke Ⓦ @ Whitehouse Post Ⓟ Ⓦ
VFX: Electric Theatre Collective Ⓟ Ⓦ
Actor: Karene Peter
Music: Adele - Hold On

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.