Billed as a film about life, death and karaoke, Martin Strange-Hansen’s On My Mind was inspired by the death of his daughter. They say that out of pain comes the best art. Don’t know if we have to go through a tragedy as humungous as losing a child, but I think there is some truth in that statement.
This 18-minute short film follows a man in a rather run down bar trying to get the bartender (Camilla Bendix) to record him singing the Willie Nelson/Elvis Presley song “Always on My Mind” karaoke-style. You can immediately sense how desperate Hank (Rasmus Mammerich) is to get this done. Frustration mounts as the bartender messes up the recording and the ancient karaoke machine does not cooperate. For some reason, this has to be done right now as time seems to be of the essence. He says he is doing this for his wife and soon we find out all the missing details of the story.
The memories we have of the person we have loved and lost are vital. We hold tight to them without the person being around anymore. Brought to life (so to speak) here Strange-Hansen’s film in a rather unique yet powerful way. When we are losing a person who we love there is a strong desire to make those last few days/hours/minutes special. Hank is desperate to do just that. He records the song, one his wife said made her feel like she was soaring, as a kind of goodbye to his life partner. Also illustrated is how even after a person dies they are not gone due to the memories we retain of them. It is like they are still there.
Plenty of emotion is tucked into the short, especially the hospital scenes. We relate to it all even if we have not gone through something similar because Mammerich brings such an every guy type of feel to Hank. We understand, once we know the full picture, the depth of what he is feeling and our heart breaks for him. The pain is something we all can relate to.