"No use wine-ing about it"
Review by Chris Olson
A short film about the fluid nature of human relationships, C’est La Via is Christopher Rapalo’s swirling urban drama about a man and woman who meet in a wine bar, and their ensuing connection which becomes as fragile as an empty bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
Quentin Miras plays the male character, who we are introduced to sitting alone at a wine bar, enjoying a glass of red, when he is joined by the very pretty Marise Jimenez. The two feel a spark and the movie jumps six months to them enjoying a relationship and the comfort stage that comes with it. A few montages and cityscape
transition sequences later and the whole thing has become corked, their once full-bodied vintage now a smashed bottle of Lambrini.
*Getting light-headed from all these alcohol puns*
Far from the most uplifting tale of a blossoming romance, C’est La Vie is a short film that offers viewers style and skill over plot and script. Rapalo brings out plenty of weapons in his arsenal of artistic filmmaking, delivering impressive technical effects and a visual platter of goodies. Language plays an important part in C’est La Vie, with Miras being English-speaking whilst Jimenez is Spanish, throw in a little French at some point and the whole movie takes on a very Cosmopolitan feel (okay, that reference was unintentional).
In a film about the transient nature of our disposition, the performances fail to ground the viewer in the moment. Whilst the interaction between Miras and Jimenez shows some chemistry, and there are moments of thoughtful tension, the two become afterthoughts for a film making a larger point. Like a perfume commercial but without the celebrity endorsement.
Wrapping up the movie with a T.S Eliot quote, it is clear that this is Rapalo’s vehicle, who shows himself to be a director with poise and style. Throughout the movie, clear and decisive intentions can be seen, offering bold commentary without delving into overblown, and unnecessary, dialogue. This is primarily a visual piece where every element has been carefully chosen to assemble into a striking picture for the viewer, one that intends to enrapture and move. Something which Rapalo does successfully.