The Sweet Hand of the White Rose (2010) (short) Review

Filmmaker Davide Melini is back with another short film, this one shot in 2010, with what seems like a bigger budget.  The story begins with Mark (Carlos Bahos), who has just had a fight with his girlfriend, so he drinks and smokes his anger away.  When Mary (Leocricia Saban) comes to the bar he’s in to confront him, Mark storms away without acknowledging Mary.  His narration explains the fight, and that the road he is dangerously traversing while texting is one he knows so well that he could drive it with his eyes closed.  However, in his anger, he makes a mistake that will haunt him for the rest of his time on Earth, in ways he could have never expected.  A quick interlude introduces us to a young girl, and what she was doing when her path fatefully crossed with Mark’s.

The rest of the film concerns Mark accepting his actions that day, and finding his way toward redemption, but not before making some harsh realizations about his actions.  The film is 15 minutes long, and there is very little dialogue, but the movie never drags.  One of the biggest upgrades from The Puzzle is the cinematography (as well as the camera used) by Jose Antonio Crespillo, which nicely compliments Melini’s sweeping camera moves, and editor Victor Quero‘s timely cuts.

There is not much more to say about the story without running spoilers, something I always try to do, even for small scale films.  My only criticism (not a complaint, as I see why it was done) was making this short film into a public service announcement about texting while driving, as the final dedication almost pulls you out of the drama.  A minor complaint, as the film is dedicated to Massimo, who is a friend to Melini, I presume, most likely involved in an incident like the one depicted in the film.  It’s an important issue, and something that people do on a daily basis.  It’s nearly as dangerous as swinging around a loaded gun on a daily basis, and most people would refuse to do that because of the relative perception of danger.  Statistics don’t lie though, so Melini is to be commended for using art to progress social change.

Being that most movies are made purely for entertainment, or the indulgence of the creator, it’s an interesting entry into the world of short films.  I assume Melini is using this as a showpiece on his path to making a feature film, and with that mission in mind, the film accomplishes a lot.  It proves the director can easily tell a story visually, and he knows when and how to use the camera, and has an eye for interesting compositions.  The music ties everything together, although I thought a few of the sound edits were a little abrupt where they should have trailed off.  Otherwise, the film is well crafted and proves that Melini should get the opportunity to make a feature film.

8.7/10

 

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