Written by: Steven Sinimeri | Directed by: Steven Sinimeri | Genre: Drama
A lot can be said about the short film Dinner, and there's also a lot left unsaid. The film explores three people, each with their own problems. The alcoholic brother and his hopeful sibling, the new(ish) girlfriend, and the interactions between the three. Mark (Edward Clements) opens the film during a bar scene where it's obvious he's an alcoholic. Lara (Zuzana Spacirova) is dating Mark's brother Tony (Paul Parker), who, according to Mark, is somewhat of a lady's man. It's when a mysterious phone call to Lara implies a terminal illness, and the two brothers continue to have personal issues, we're led to believe this is all connected somehow. At least, that's what I thought.
It turns out that all connections are superficial at best. When Tony proposes a dinner in order to help bring everyone together, I expected the threads of this film to come together, but honestly? That never really happened. Dinner seems focused on negativity which in itself is not a bad thing. Hell, the negative gritty approach is probably about as real as a movie can get... more on that later. The biggest issue with Dinner is the lack of connections. The lack of anything, really. Now, that doesn't make this a bad movie in any way, as you can see from my rating, but I just couldn't help but think of what could have been.
The look and acting of Dinner are pretty good. What the cast "do" get to do, they do very well. The interactions, expressions, and overall feel of the characters feel legit and work well. But again, we're brought back to the why of the movie. I suppose that if Dinner mirrors real life, then any plot connections are not needed. In real life, things happen... all the time—good things and bad things that seem random and pointless. I can only assume that this was the point of this short film because the alternative would be slightly annoying. For all the good points of this film, it's just weird that nothing really connects or matters. Nothing is solved. Nothing is achieved or gained. Quite the opposite, actually. Unless I missed something, I just don't understand what the point of the movie was... unless the point was that there's no point at all. All the setup and no answers.
There's nothing technically wrong with Dinner. Actually, it's a really well-done film production-wise. There's even some great work during the building of the potential story. It's the payoff that, for me, just didn't work all that well... because there was no payoff. Dinner works well enough to keep you interested until the end, but then you're left thinking, why? Why did I bother when nothing story-specific happened? The buildup was worth the short amount of time; I only wish there was more to the story. Thank you for reading.
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