Director: Leandro Tadashi
Writers: Joshua Paul Johnson
Genre: Short Movie
Duration: 13 min
Stars: Daniel Rashid, Zachary Roozen, Katie Bake
Clark has never said it, but he's in love with Trevor. It's one of those things that has clearly built up within an existing friendship which is itself so important that he's terrified of putting it at risk. They're both in their teens, on the cusp of going to college, which could tear them apart anyway. When Trevor asks Clark to put in a good word for him with the girl he fancies, Clark agrees - it's what friends do - and tries to hide his quiet devastation. But when the girl turns out to have other ideas, things really start to get complicated.
Situations like this do happen in real life but it's difficult to relate them in film - especially in the short format - without them seeming twee. There's not much to distinguish Leandro Tadashi's short in terms of plot; the background presents us with a house party that has a swimming pool and a band, quite unlikely in real life but an accepted part of the world of teen cinema - and of course, there's not an adult in sight.
What makes the film stand out, however, is the acting, especially Daniel Rashid's sensitive portrayal of Clark, which will hopefully see him getting a lot more attention from casting directors. With the dialogue necessarily flat, the film hinges on what he shows us with his face and body. The mixture of hope, fear, disappointment and excitement that ebbs and flows throughout the film is something anyone who remembers their first feelings of love will relate to.
It's the complexity of these emotions, and of the reactions of the other characters, that gives the film a measure of tension and unpredictability. Polished visuals sit appropriately at odds with the rawness of what its young hero has to confront. Everything here is technically impressive, especially for a small production. It's slight but perfectly formed.