Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Directed by: #PhilipVickery
Written by: Philip Vickery
You can’t see my dog right now but I can. He is small and gross and smells like the ocean, despite never going in it, he is old and shedding and likes to follow me everywhere, causing me to often trip over him and stumble into a dark void of probable death. Sometimes I’m holding soup, but this aside, I love him, I like to feed him a selection of meats, it makes him happy.
People really love dogs, like really love them. If you know someone who has a dog, they don’t just like them...they god damn love them, making little personalities for them and even just the idea of the loss of their dogs can bring them to tears. Dogs connect people, we meet in the park, pet strangers pooches and strike up conversations, we connect, we know the love they feel.
Reina is the story of a young man (played by Sergio Castillo) who has recently had his dog stolen by a wicked witch of an ex-girlfriend (something I don’t have to worry about, no one would take my stinky ocean dog) and on a date with a new gal, can’t help but go on and on about the loss he has suffered.
His new lady (played by Kat Pena) is quick to get annoyed at this and tries to leave, but after much apologising from our leading man she agrees to one more chance, and one more drink.
Soon they find a bar, but on the rollercoaster ride of the most rubbish date ever, this bar is run by some super cool Russian gangsters in Adidas jackets who hold them hostage to ensure they don’t get loose lipped about what they have seen.
It’s not long until the story of our leading man’s dog loss gets told again, accompanied by rolling eyes from his date, but she shouldn’t, for its this tale that brings these hardened gangsters to tears, for they too are lovers of the four legged beasts, and the leader has recently lost his little poodle too. They cry together, they hug, they bond, they rub the photo of the dead dog, they are brought together by their common interest.
What you would think is a sad tale, Renia is actually a very funny short movie, witty and compelling, this is a very enjoyable watch.
At no point is this laugh out loud #comedy, but you can see the fun they are making of the typical #gangster scene we have been exposed to time and time again in cinema, to the point where their grief at the death of a dog can be a laughable moment within the film.
Everyone who is cast is excellent within their performance, each person brings their own talent and skill, giving 110% but never overshadowing anyone else on screen. The Russian gangsters understand the fun they are poking at their type cast character, but pull it of respectfully with excellent comedic execution and timing.
[SPOILER ALERT] One thing I really enjoyed about this #shortfilm was the predictable ending that I didn’t roll my eyes at, the gangsters obviously retrieve the stolen dog for our leading man, returning him while he is asleep in bed with his date, who of course fell for him in the end, and even though this all seems a little contrived, a little sappy, how can you hate it, he got his doggie back!!! [SPOILER END]
And that’s the point of this film; we all at the end of the day want to see people happy with their pets, enjoying the bond that is formed between man and dog, and if you don’t want to see that then you are clearly a cat person.
Enjoyable, witty and emotional, a must see for any lovers of dogs...and Adidas tracksuits.