The Date short film review

★★★★

Directed by: #AlessioCappelletti

Written by: #KrisSalvi

Starring: #MarybethPaul, #MichaelGonza, #DamienChinappi

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby



As The Date begins, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a tale of lonely hearts; of sadness, but ultimately, of warmth and togetherness. But you’d be wrong, dead wrong. Instead, Alessio Cappelletti’s short film (a mere 9-minutes in length) is an intelligent and thought-provoking socially charged #thriller, whose finale penetrates the heart and destroys any trace of warmth the second act may have built-up.


A man sits alone in a diner, anxiously awaiting someone’s arrival. A woman (Marybeth Paul) arrives shortly after, but who is she? His date? It doesn’t seem likely, as the man declares, “I just wasn’t expecting that they would send someone so pretty.” As the woman sits down and the pair begin talking, it seems fairly obvious that she’s a sex worker. There’s talk of “wanting something” from her, and he pays for her “services” under the table. But as the conversation continues, the pair seem to warm to each other, as they lament their current situations. A warm fuzzy feeling begins to form as the second act draws to an end, but then, well…


There’s a lot to digest here when we look at the performances in The Date, but only so much I can talk about without giving anything away. So, I’ll simply say that Marybeth Paul is outstanding in what, I’d argue, is the lead role. It’s debatable, but without a shadow of a doubt, she’s the central character. It’s through her we meet our other two characters, played by Michael Gonza and Damien Chinappi: one we’re introduced to right at the beginning of the film, but who then disappears during the third act, the other, only arrives during the third act.


The Date is exceptionally minimalistic in its aesthetic design. #NahuelAttar’s (editor) snappy editing works perfectly in tandem with #JamesWoodbury’s (Director of Photography) unpretentious framing and simple, yet effective, colour palette. The dialogue between the characters is brilliantly written and purposefully misleading, while #PatrickODonnell’s score – the first in his career – is moody and atmospheric. Sometimes, less is more. And that certainly seems to be the case here.


The Date brilliantly plays with the expectations of its audience: it promises hope, maybe even love, but then cruelly snatches it from us. The sudden switch from hope to hate is violent and shockingly nonchalant. It somehow seems alarmingly relevant to today’s social-political climate; as if reflecting upon the isolationist nature of modern society and its tendencies towards casual violence and self-alienation.


Provocative, poignant and staggeringly honest filmmaking; complete with solid and well-rounded performances from a small but talented cast. Alessio Cappelletti's, The Date, is a marvellous short film you'd be mad to miss.