A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her 500-page manuscript to a “Star Trek” writing competition in Hollywood.
How do we navigate confusing and unfamiliar spaces? What is it like to know that you’re out of place and cannot understand the world around you? These thoughts haunt me. In my nightmares, I am confused because I can’t make sense of what’s going on. I sometimes feel that way when I’m awake.
Please Stand By isn’t a horror film – it’s a gentle comedy drama – but it brought forth a great feeling of distress in me. It’s the story of a lost child desperately trying to find her way through a harsh and unforgiving landscape.
Like any good film, it is an exercise is wish fulfilment. The hero has her quest, the villains and jesters play their required roles, and the audience is duly rewarded with pathos and humour.
I don’t know if the film fairly represents the experience of some autistic people. Perhaps it’s a show like The Big Bang Theory; designed to comfort the relatives of those who don’t fit in. But it is a funny, fraught, and fine film.