Review by Mark Schwab
March 28th, 2019
A nervous and skittery man meets a pretty woman in a public place while trying to pass her money in an envelope. He is quickly admonished by her, "Always under the table!" Thus begins director Alessio Cappelletti's short film THE DATE which is pretty tough to review in the traditional sense.
This is a short film. Real short for what gets put onto the screen here. The runtime says nine minutes but nearly three of them are credits making the narrative a scant six minutes and change. And for the set-up presented (to describe more would basically explain the entire film) I felt this was simply not enough time to draw me fully into this world.
Which is a little maddening since it is a potentially intriguing world. It is impressive how well the single coffee-shop set is utilized with superb cinematography that recalls the Boulevard of Broken Dreams painting. Also the two leads are genuinely effective in creating tension when they are saying one thing and meaning something completely different. One other thing that I must point out (carefully) is that there is, I think, a key line of dialogue said by the woman towards the end of the film that I just couldn't make out over the other sound effects. I played it back over and over again through different speakers and headphones with no success.
THE DATE is a strong effort technically, with fine acting that could be the basis for a longer film for sure. These factors alone warrant six minutes of your time and I'm sure it will get some festival play. But know going in that, as a viewer, you'll only scratch the surface of what could really be going on here.