I've always been a sucker for a good ending. Never enough good things can be said, about sending an audience off feeling good about what the just watched - especially if the film managed to bamboozle them a little. The trick is to get us to that point. Get the audience to actually make it to the final act, and want to see what's next. A film is like a chain. Link to link to link, with the hopes none are broken along the way.
In "The Date" those links are intact, and some of them maybe even contain a pleasant maroon tint. The color of a budding relationship or perhaps love. Strengthening this theory is what Kris Salvi and Alessio Cappelletti do best. Salvi's script calls for the intimate meeting of a man and a woman. A probable first date, considering the nervous nature of the man. Can you blame him? Especially when his date enters the room, and she is much more attractive than he could have possibly dreamed. It's here that director Alessio Cappelletti ensures the atmosphere is just right. Warm colors and to the point directing. Perhaps this lonely man has found that special someone? We could all, should all, take notes. Right? But sometimes that maroon tinted chain doesn't equal love in the air. Can anyone guess what else this maroon tint could signify? Sometimes it's not love at all, and still... maybe this woman really is that special someone? Just the person this man needs.
I was a little nervous before actually watching "The Date" for what are essentially, superficial reasons. Mainly, the display package itself - or lack of one. With no trailer as of yet, no poster images, and no real online presence that I can see, I wasn't expecting a whole lot. It has been my experience that eighty percent of the time, when these things are not present, I can't expect a lot from a production. I was wrong here. Pleasantly wrong. Without these elements it may be tougher to get the film out there - but those who do see this flick will definitely be caught off guard. In a good way. I also assume these things are probably coming in the near future - and they'll help a lot.
It dawned on me as I sat watching, that this short film actually looks pretty darn good. As a micro budget movie, these guys used a great location for atmosphere and lighting - perhaps enhanced it a little, and went to work. Keeping things simple actually raised the perceived production value quite a bit. "The Date" really does look good - but also includes one other important aspect, often forgotten about. It also sounds good. Great even. The dialog is clear, on top of the score and easy to understand. Speaking of the scoring, another pleasant surprise. It was low key, composed nicely, and remembered it's place in the movie. Never overpowering the onscreen happenings or the cast performances...
... that also happened to be pretty spot on. There's not much I can write without spoiling the plot of such a short - short film. Our two leads however, have no reason to lower their heads. They were great! Even better, when considering the misdirection "The Date" sets out to provide. The double meaning of not only the spoken words, but also the actions of the characters - are delivered loud and clear. Very nicely done.
At the end of the day, this is the perfect example of a low budget indie - thought to maybe be alright - shattering expectations. I personally would have loved some kind of background - perhaps some hints of why - but as it sits, "The Date" still provides a full story. A start, middle and end. This was a clever film, handled nicely and fun to watch. What more does an audience need?