Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: 1 Night

In Minhal Baig's debut film, she seeks to examine love, time, and how relationships evolve.

The setup is simple: Two couples, one at the beginning of their relationship, the other possibly at their end. Liz (Anna Camp) and Drew (Justin Chatwin) are an older couple checked into a Hotel. They wander the streets recalling familiar places and memories, and talking out their lives. The second couple Bea (Isabelle Fuhrman) and Andy (Kyle Allen) share a miserable prom, as their relationship begins to bloom.

1 Night divides its time between these two couples. Liz and Drew's excursions around town are filled with generic arguments and often flat dialog. The two leads are always great, but have little to work with here. On the flip side, the younger couple, despite having their own conflicts, are not so maudlin and lift the film from what might otherwise be a bit of a slog.

There are moments to enjoy in the film, largely in the young love side, but ultimately they're drowned out by the dour and often bland dialog and heavy handed score. At roughly 75 minutes, 1 Night feels too long. Indeed, if Baig had just done this as a short, it likely would have worked better.

Minhal Baig ties the two ends of the story together in an interesting way, that I won't give away. On the directorial side, the film is beautifully shot. Baig shows promise for future projects, but just isn't there yet in her first offering.

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