Producer and director Chris Esper sent us along his latest produced short, The Date, directed by Alessio Cappelletti and written by Kris Salvi who wrote Bent, which Chris directed.
Michael Gonza (“Crisp (Short)”, “Holed Up (Short)”) sits in a café. He’s looking nervous, fidgeting with his napkin, he’s obviously waiting on someone.
When that someone arrives it’s the beautiful Marybeth Paul, “I wasn’t expecting someone so beautiful” mutters Gonza, a software engineer and someone who is obviously shy and quiet.
All things point to this being a transaction between a lonely man and a woman working in the oldest industry in the world, but all is not as it seems, and this date, this date might not be one you’d want to be involved in.
Salvi has written a wonderfully wicked short film, full of questions and promise, it, as all good short films should, leaves you wanting more, wishing it was longer so you could follow that rabbit for longer.
Cappelletti, and Esper who served as first assistant director, handles things beautifully. The film barely moves from this café table, yet you never feel hemmed in or claustrophobic, you certainly don’t feel like you’re watching something cheap.
Gonza is absolutely astonishing as this shy, awkward, retiring man. When the end occurs, and you have more of an idea of what’s really going on, you look back at his performance and realise it’s even better than the first watch.
Marybeth Paul is equally as delightful, sure-footed and with none of the hesitation or uncertainty that appears to plague Gonza’s character. Paul sweeps in, gets what she needs and then transforms into this…well, that would be telling, but it’s a fantastic second-half performance that is poles apart from the first.
The Date is a sure-footed and fantastically well-made piece of work. It leaves you wanting more, and that’s exactly what it should do.