Written by: Seth Kozak
Rendezvous Movie Review
Short crime thriller Rendezvous, from directors Seth Kozak and Damian Veilleux, has equal parts mystery and tension yet never quite embraces the subtle nuances of the genre to make the movie compelling.
Katarina Morhacova plays Catalina, a woman on the run from her powerful husband (Mike Sutton) who seems to be plotting her demise. Taking shelter during a snowstorm at a local inn, Catalina hopes to make it through the night and may have a few tricks of her own up her sleeves.
The narrative of Rendezvous is mildly intriguing and our attachment to Catalina's wellbeing is constructed well. We care about her survival and the increasing level of peril she seems to be in is entertaining. The setting of the isolated inn works well to enhance the tense atmosphere, especially when all the lights go out and creepy guys show up (Chris Kerson).
Some of the aspects of the #filmmaking were also impressive, such as a glorious high angle shot of the snowy roads, or the numerous uses of Placebo's "Running Up That Hill". The latter of which was excellently used during a nighttime driving sequence. There were, regrettably, some other aspects to the aesthetic and overall design of the film which were less appealing.
Kozak's script is teeming with melodrama, some of which seems meant for misdirection but ends up soaking the piece with a cheapness it isn't able to shake. This is particularly evident during the opening exchange between Catalina and her overbearing husband. Some of the editing was bizarre, with cuts much quicker than they needed to be, or sharp fades to cut scenes which felt unnecessary.
From a certain angle, Rendezvous has a few interesting aspects in terms of themes, none of which gets fully developed. The long arm of white male influence is there (her hubby is apparently a Congressman, according to the credits), and we see how this conflicts with women in different ways during the movie. Catalina is a strong and capable woman, something which only really gets revealed in the latter sections of the film. It would have been interesting to see how a feature length movie could have provided her with a different vehicle.
Exciting in parts and dotted with impressive moments of cinematic flair, Kozac and Veilleux show themselves to be capable of delivering a solid thriller. Had they kept their footing with the editing and instead cut more of the cliche dialogue, this could have been a rendezvous to revisit. On this occasion, once is probably more than enough.