FILM INFO: Natalie goes through each day the same way: she works as a "sexy maid" for hire cleaning homes in a small town, then comes home each night to her artist boyfriend. One evening, she decides to finally reveal a secret to him that she believes will seal their love forever.
WRITTEN BY: Tori Pope DIRECTED BY: Tori Pope GENRE: Drama TIME: 13 minutes.
A pretty face and a sexy maid costume. Could there be a better business idea? Apparently the answer is no. In any case, this seems to be Natalie's business and it just so happens...business is booming. She comes in, does her job and leaves. It's that simple. Even though the cleaning is done wearing a... provocative costume, don't expect any hanky panky. That's not part of the deal. You see ladies and gents, Natalie may accept the stares and know what she's "really" getting paid for, but that doesn't seem to bother her so long as her clients remain on the up-and-up. This is the impression I got when watching "Night Of Natalie" from writer, director Tori Pope. Natalie, played excellently by Catherine Parker is simply a business woman, exploiting a fantasy to make some decent cash. Life is good, no laws are being broken and realistically? Why the hell not. I would do it if I thought I could get away with it. In my case however, clients would probably pay me to wear a parka and those giant, black Hollywood sunglasses. Moving on... After a long day of cleaning house, literally, Natalie returns home to her loving boyfriend to do what normal people do. We find out he's an artist, who as luck would have it, was actually in the process of painting the poster art for this film. Talk about forward thinking! Then, just as we, the viewers think it's about time to call it a day, Natalie decides to let him in on a life changing secret. What follows is not what she had hoped. Natalie's boyfriend Jeff, played by Jeffery Baker, goes into a rage and an obviously distraught Natalie flees into the streets. I'm not going to tell you the "big secret" that comes next, but I can tell you this: It's here that things get really, friggin... weird. The entire vibe of the film shift gears and the final act is well... not what you're expecting. Not even a little bit. Technically, "Night Of Natalie" is an indie, low budget film. That about sums things up nicely. It's a well rounded production however, and although not sitting high with the big boys, it still manages to fare rather well. What I can write is that our two leads do fantastic jobs in their roles. Especially the brief scene with them fighting. This is a realistic, gritty fight that one would not wish on anybody. The camera work is decent enough and even the hand-held shots, gasp, manage to work because they are used and edited properly. A rare case with indie film. I did end up thinking this title felt a little long running. The first three minutes are a complete montage of sorts, showcasing exactly what it is that Natalie does. While I found it was important to imply she doesn't provide a true "escort" experience to her clients, I still felt three minutes was on the lengthy side. Especially considering the entire movie is just under 13 minutes. Within those remaining minutes, another two or three could easily have been shaved off. Leaving only the important, story progressing essentials. This would have made this a quicker, leaner and better film. Don't get me wrong. It never got to the point I wanted to shut it off. My only real concern is for the "montage" introduction. Film buffs like myself have no problem with long montage start-ups. The general movie viewer may not be as patient. Skipping out on the film before it even starts. As for the film shifting gears in the final act? I'm not going to say much other than it's a strange segment indeed. But, I especially loved the weird sound effect used during those final moments. I'm pretty sure it's just a bunch of quick "pops" to the microphone... but it sure did the trick. Excellent. "Night Of Natalie" is just strange enough to make it a really cool short film. It's one of those "the more I think about it" type of movies, that really could be taken more than one way. The lead-up was good, the change of pace into the world of confusion was... well... brilliant. The best part? This one happens to be a freebie. Why not scoot on over and have a look?