Review by Mark Schwab
June 20th, 2018
A young woman sits alone in a coffee shop. She is clearly in a state of barely-controlled distressed as she waits for her boyfriend to meet her. Once he arrives, she initiates a conversation - a serious one - but keeps it all under that pseudo safe space of being "hypothetical".
The distressed young woman is Faith (Clare O'Conner) and the boyfriend is Blake (Matt Pratt). Faith has picked a busy place to speak about such important matters and starts to present the "what if's" about the future of their relationship and the consequences that could be the result of certain choices that must be made between the two of them. O'Connor plays Faith as the frightened young woman quite effectively...you certainly empathize with her. Matt Pratt plays Blake as distracted and self-absorbed but hardly a monster and this is also managed quite effectively.
My 2-Diamond rating is mainly due to a common problem I often see with short films...they are sometimes too short. HYPOTHETICAL plays like a small (albeit critical) scene from a larger feature film. In fact, this entire film (barely 5 minutes long) could work very nicely as a pre-title sequence for a feature-length movie. But trying to stand on its own two feet as a short story, it telegraphs too much causing you to know exactly where its headed almost from the start. This wouldn't be any problem at all if there were 75 minutes to come afterwards (and I wonder if that is exactly what this is - a film designed to get potential investors interested in the feature version) and develop these characters. Which, admittedly, director Gustavo Martin has done a fine job of setting up.
So while there is nothing "bad" about HYPOTHETICAL, it feels like a single scene cast adrift from a larger story to be told. Which is a shame because he has a couple of good actors here and it all looks and sounds polished. He and his crew know how to execute things technically. There's a solid feature film here if Martin could go out and shoot it...hypothetically of course.
To learn more about what Director Gustavo Martin is up to, check out his website.