Directed by Chris Esper
Starring Christie Devine, Kris Salvi, Craig Capone, JP Valentini, Adam Miller
Short Film Review by Taryll Baker
Taking place entirely on a park bench, Chris Esper’s The Deja Vuers takes a comedic look at two individuals (Kris Salvi and Christie Devine) who just may have met before in their dreams. What follows is a series of never-ending encounters and strange situations.
Comedy is a tough genre to tackle, especially nowadays with most films trying to rekindle a flame that died many years ago. But, with Jason K. Allen writing the script, and the two leads delivering Allen’s lines with great confidence and timing, we have a winner. It’s not hilarious by any means, but it’s fun and fresh. As is the original score by Steven Lanning-Cafaro, which aids the picture with cues that fit the conversation extremely well.
Salvi plays Chuck, a man who dreamt about meeting Morgan (Devine) on a park bench. He just broke up with his girlfriend and looks to find someone else. Morgan responds to Chuck’s initial greeting with a sour face, but as the conversation evolves, she starts to wonder what’s really going on. I like this idea. Using the intriguing yet weird ‘Déjà Vu’ phenomenon as a plot point is interesting to me. It’s a very simple but entertaining viewing experience and they both perform wonderfully in their respective roles.
The location of the park bench is picked out fittingly; the surrounding trees and leaves scattered all over the ground are beautiful to look at. The performers can operate skilfully within this environment and you can see it in their presentation. The hair & make-up is subtle, essentially just keeping the actors looking as natural as possible. Danielle Schneider has done a fantastic job keeping it authentic.
The sound mix is clear and profound. Again, very subtle but this only aids the film as a whole. Andy Marse seems to have a good amount of sound mixing knowledge, and certainly delivers. Director of Photography Evan Schneider captures the film with a very attractive, colourful palette. He doesn’t try to make it something of a big deal; which is what pleases me about this film overall, it’s nothing huge. But it’s a fun, inviting story with likeable characters.
The Deja Vuers is a funny, somewhat relatable, clean and subtle production. The two leads are entertaining to watch and the direction, whilst minuscule in scale, is fantastic.