The single take movie. Anyone who has read my review of Last Call knows I am a big fan of this technique, as long as the story is a good fit for it. One main requirement being that a consistent tension builds throughout the narrative, thus not cutting from the action only adds to the suspense.
When I saw that Dash, a single take movie about a womanizing rideshare driver whose past catches up with him during one horrific night on the road was playing Dances With Films 2022, I knew this was one party I had to crash.
First off, Dash meets the single take standard, most of the runtime has a consistent thread of tension that keeps your mind and heart racing. Before all that, we are treated to strong character driven moments of Comedy. For this first act, think of Slacker or Clerks, but entirely in a car.
These scenes are vignettes that revolve around very distinct characters that Alexander Molina as Milly, our rideshare driver gives rides to. Given that, a solid comparison would be the Jim Jarmusch film Night On Earth. It is also worth noting that in true indie style, Alexander Molina is also an Executive Producer of Dash as well. Helping out by producing your own starring vehicle, nothing wrong with that.
The look and feel of Dash is great. A fun, retro title sequence and radio DJ whose voice is a clear homage to Stephen Wright’s character in Reservoir Dogs will make film fans strap in and enjoy the show. Well written call backs and the use of metaphor elevate Dash beyond many indie films of this type.
Character wise, Dash reminded me of the Tom Hardy movie Locke. The tone however, is totally different. Dash is a pedal to the metal ride that intersects comedy, suspense and horror.
During the Q and A after the screening with Writer/Director/Editor/Cinematographer Sean Perry, it was said a big part of telling a story contained to a car, shot in one single take was for budget reasons. It was a way to eliminate the need for a big crew on set. The production only took three days, shooting one take per night. The second take is the one they went with for the final cut.
The supporting characters do a great job, especially Paige Grimard and Monette Moio who play the women in his life. It is worth noting that besides the many acting credits Monette Moio has, she is also a stunt performer on Promising Young Woman, Euphoria – TV Series and The Flight Attendant – TV Series. There are plenty of stand out moments in Dash that show humans at their most primal. Such as a scene with two women devouring Thai food in his car that made them seem like animals, and I loved it.
There are many rideshare movies we can choose from, but thanks to being all one take and the consistent entertainment value, Dash is one to watch. It was a thrill from start to finish. The audience in the theater responded well to the fun style, the twists and turns the story took, so bring your friends.
1st April 2022
1 Hour 45 Minutes
THE QUICK SELL
An adulterous rideshare driver navigating the nighttime streets of Hollywood goes to great lengths to take his troubling double-life to the grave...only to dig a grave for himself.