Directed by David Spaltro
Written by Tawny Sorensen
Starring Nabil Vinas and Tawny Sorensen
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
What begins as an enjoyable comedy develops into an affecting drama in this short film written by and starring Tawny Sorensen. Directed by David Spaltro, The Cat's Cradle examines a relationship on the cusp of a huge shift in their dynamic...but perhaps not the sort they were expecting.
Jim (Nabil Vinas) and wife Amy (Tawny Sorensen) are at that stage in their relationship where procreating has become the focal topic. The former is gung-ho in his preparation for being a dad: watching baby documentaries, reading up on tips for how to get pregnant, and giving Amy plenty of advice on how she could be using her body more effectively. Amy, on the other hand, seems flustered by the sacrifices she has to make, as well as frustrated at the lack of spark in the romantics. What transpires as we learn more about this couple and how they got to this point seems brimming with trouble.
It can often be a struggle to rack up enough chemistry in an on screen relationship during a short film for the audience to be convinced, let alone immersed. In The Cat's Cradle, not only is the writing authentic and believable, the two central performances are exceptional, creating a totally relatable and engaging dynamic for the viewer to be sucked into, whilst the heavy themes swarm around them unbeknownst. This was essential in order to strike the complex balance of comedy and drama which emerges marvellously.
Vinas is great as the super excited dad-in-the-making, offering up some wonderful moments of tenderness and comedy, as well as coping brilliantly with the tonal shift in the latter sections of the short film. Sorensen is captivating as the not-so-enthusiastic mother-in-waiting (or baby making machine), serving up a delightful range of emotions and acting prowess to complement the story and its subject matter. Together, these two performers offer a remarkable insight into the delicate intricacies of a modern relationship, and all the hidden depths.
The intimacy with which Spaltro directs (and edits) The Cat's Cradle is also really special. He utilises a lot of close ups and mid-range shots to keep the viewer fixed. It would have been easy to take the peddle off the gas and rely on some more comedy or extraneous sequences in order to dilute the tension slightly for the viewer. Instead, the movie remains on a steady incline of increasing and palpable tension throughout. The result is rather magnificent.