Jul 20, 2023
Jon Xue Zhang, Kelsey Cooke, Noa Nikita Bleeker
Under orders, two women abduct a man. Is he the right man though?
Frankie (Cooke) and Darlene (Bleeker) are two young women who are up to no good and work for someone sinister. Their current mission is to kidnap a man called Mr. Mimoto (Zhang) and keep him prisoner for a certain amount of time. So they catch him, bring him to a smart property and tie him to a chair. However, there seems to be a problem: the man claims that he is not Mr. Mimoto but Shin, leaving the two girls to figure out if he is telling the truth.
This short dark comedy utilises a kidnapping situation in order to explore racism and (to a lesser degree) social media. Shin (or Mr. Mimoto?) is has an Eastern Asian appearance, just as the one the abductors were supposed to snatch. As the unknown man has no I.D. on him, or a social media address, the two women have a hard time finding out whether he is their target or not. They actually have a picture of him on their phone, yet he insists that is not him and proceeds to lecture them regarding their ignorance of how all Eastern Asians look the same to other races. That appears to be the film's main point and criticism: that people tend to believe that Eastern Asians all look the same, even if they are from another country of that region, like Japan or China.
The performances are entertaining and the characters are interesting. Frankie and Darlene are clearly amateurs in their line of work, as they drink a refreshment while keeping the man prisoner, place a regular shopping bag over the man's head after having tied him up and they chill out while they wait for him to wake up and of course, they are unsure whether they kidnapped the right person. They argue with the man and on top of that, their boss is putting pressure on them via phone. Frankie comes across as sensitive and nervous, while Darlene seems more focused and determined. The man himself, he plays it cool and criticizes his captors' naivety and inability to distinguish Eastern Asian individuals.
There are creative filmmaking techniques that include title cards that are accompanied by what sounds like Eastern Asian music and the song Jarabe Tapatio, that is heard as a ring tone and during the closing credits was an excellent choice that supports the comedic atmosphere.
As well as being funny, this short addresses thoughtful issues: that a lot of people tend to think that Eastern Asians look alike, which the screenplay explores humorously and also the world's obsession with social media. Issues aside, this is an intriguing story, with clever dialogue and amusing characters and it does a great job in maintaining suspense.