FILM INFO: Laura starts a playful game with her husband Charlie. He has to resist the temptation of making love to an actress played by her. But Laura's playfulness masks a deeper motivation: a test of her husband's fidelity.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Sibay, Charline Odiot DIRECTED BY: Charline Odiot GENRE: Drama TIME: 14 minutes
Love. An emotion so powerful it's become part of every media form man has ever invented. Film and music, poetry and books, it's a driving force of the imagination and of course, true life. However, we can hardly mention love without jealousy. The two go hand in hand. Now, in modern times, jealousy has given form to a new batch of mind games and emotional power plays. Maybe this really isn't a new thing for us modern age folks, but the deception contained within the games we play certainly has been updated. With that ladies and gents I bring you to "The Temptation Game", a short film dealing in the above mentioned mind games. Are these games the very heart of this short film? Maybe at first glance. Hidden just beneath however, is a heaping helping of self pity, insecurity and of course... love itself. Writers Michael Sibay and Charline Odiot know just how to feature as a fiction, what a vast majority of people will, or have been, through before. Maybe... probably more than once. This "knowing wink" or nod to those real life situations is part of what draws the viewer in. As a personal question to the reader, let me ask this: Do emotional difficulties, when overcome make for a much better and lasting relationship? I think so. Simply because the lack of emotional stress would make for quite a boring world. At the very least, could end up representing no emotions at all. But where is the line drawn? "The Temptation Game" attempts to bring that question to light using subtle dialog and reactions, showing the viewer that there's more to the story than we're seeing. Technically, for all the good showcased in this film, being an indie/low budget production, there also exists some preventable aspects that scream independent. First and foremost, I feel I need to mention that the two lead actors do an excellent job. Their performances push the narrative forward in a smart believable way. No question about that, the dialog feels perfectly playful and awkward where needed. It's safe to say the well written lines probably make the job easier, but what you can't attribute to the writing is the expressions of the cast. These small little looks make "The Temptation Game" feel like you're a fly on the wall, watching two real people without a rolling camera in the background. Great job. I was also thankful for clear audio. Something often overlooked when putting together an indie project. Make no mistake however reader, you can tell this is an independent production within the first few minutes. The "indie stamp" resides all over this short film. Nobody expects a big budget look from an indie film, but as I wrote above, a few of these indie staples could have easily been fixed in post. "The Temptation Game" takes place in a small apartment, making location control that much easier. Why then do we have one shot a warm hue, and the very next one cool... followed again by warm the very next cut? Small fixes in post could have easily remedied most of the visual inconsistencies contained within the 14 minute run time. These should have been addressed. To be blunt, it may seem like a small thing, but for me, every time the color temperature changed I was instantly taken out of the world Charline Odiot had worked so hard to create. A few color adjustments during the editing process would have fixed this. No question. When it's all said and done "The Temptation Game" soars well past the mediocre mark. The strong performances and interesting premise ensure this film is well above par. Slight post problems can easily be dismissed simply because this is a good film. The fact that the concept is something many filmmakers avoid makes this piece both real and entertaining. I was glad to have been given a look. -MC