Directed by Zaid Alkayat
Starring Johnny Sachon and Rachael Holoway
It’s February again, and whilst the genre of Romantic Comedies may well seem like an unwelcome arrival in the post-awards season gloom, there is always the unrelenting search for a genuinely entertaining movie about love and romance when Valentine’s Day comes a-knocking. Zaid Alkayat’s short film about the probability of finding a “Soulmate” is most definitely a refreshingly subtle and delicate take on the season, with a story that boasts lofty ideals of matchmaking and grounded themes of reality.
Beginning with a poignant quote from Plato himself, Alkayat’s short film is largely concerned with the idea of soulmates, that human beings could be spiritually or even tangibly destined to find a missing piece to their life. Johnny Sachon plays a professor playfully arguing with a student about the credibility of Plato’s statement that soulmates are indeed a real thing. His student (Rachael Holoway) seems incredulous at her professor’s lack of “logic”, especially considering his status as an academic. As Sachon’s character boils down the numbers, though, a stark reality reveals itself that we are indeed limited by our surroundings, education, status and more, rendering a faint possibility of a one-true-love after all.
Without the hokiness of a typical Rom-Com or the cynical commentary of a new-age love tale, Soulmates is a short film that perfectly balances itself between romanticism and realism. In an age obsessed, nay dependent, on figures and stats, there could be nothing more terrifying than the actuality of finding another person to share your life with. Common values, interests and attraction are just some of the criteria which prevent people from forming emotional bonds, not to mention faith and finding out whether they like Star Wars or Game of Thrones!
(Watch the short film "Soulmates" above)
Alkayat’s film has a delectable aesthetic about it, complemented by a gorgeous score from Simon Slater, serving up music that is emotive and moving. The performances are genuinely captivating too, with the chemistry between Sachon and Holoway utterly palpable. A few moments in the script seem a little hackneyed, if only from audience exposure to this kind of story, but the delicate tone that Alkayat achieves is both welcome and enjoyable.
For fans of true love and romance, or even those who believe in celebrating great filmmaking, Zaid Alkayat’s short film Soulmates is a taste of possibility and poetry, of the whimsical ludicrousness of fate and inevitability. Revel in its sincerity or bask in its obscurity, either way you can’t help but feel a little loved up.