We all know that split second mistakes can have lasting effects on people, but what if that mistake was stupid. Like, really stupid. Like, so astronomically inconsequentially stupid that it doesn’t even seem worth it.
Worse, what if somebody else has to bear the brunt of that mistake for the rest of their lives?
So asks Alex Kavutskiy in Squirrel, a deathly dry comedy about the aftermath of a stupid stupid mistake and the pathetic search for forgiveness in that mistake. Andrew has made an astronomically huge mistake that will effect Noreen for the rest of her life, and he wants forgiveness for that mistake so as to alleviate his guilt and confirm his belief that he is a Good Person.
While Squirrel boils this down to the extremely personal, these types of mistakes happen at all sorts of levels with apologies of all kinds. I was reminded of the BP oil spills off the Gulf of Mexico where the BP executives were all “We’re sorry.” Or, Hillary Clinton looking for forgiveness for her vote authorizing the Iraq War. At what point is “I’m sorry” not good enough for such stupid and irresponsible mistakes that have such devastating effects on people’s lives?
But, Kavutskiy does more than strip the weak apology to its barest bones, he also engages in the weirdest chain of cause-and-effect where actions have unintended consequences. Through chaos, every action has the possibility of bad things happening without rhyme or reason. In the world of Squirrel, the making of a mediocre movie has caused somebody to become paralyzed from the waist down. Now, it wasn’t necessarily that this bad movie was the cause of this mistake – it could have been any other movie to cause this mistake – but, this was the one that caused it. Butterfly effects have never been so pathetic.