1 Night
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1 Night

An inevitable result of the technological changes that permitted many people to maintain sizable collections of the film has been the aggregate review site. With web presences such as Rotten Tomatoes or Metalcritic, an increasing number of people now express their opinions about the movies they have watched. I’m about to criticize some of the veracity of these sites holier rail that I’m an active participant. Chris is always peaked when there is a broad discrepancy between the critical consensuses in the one derived from the general fan base. Admittedly my investigation into this phenomenon remains cursory, but after contacting a certainly limited sample of my fellow critics, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of them were born to generations that came about after mine. I’m convinced that if the Internet were around when I was such a tender age by perceptions of a wide variety of films would demonstrate a degree of naïveté. It is something that comes with age besides increasing number of aches and pains; there’s an accumulation of understanding derived from just experiencing far more than your younger self had. I discussed this with other critics of similar age general agreement. When movies are your passion is only natural that you begin studying related topics both informally, and when the opportunity arises, the more traditional means of education. Rather early on in my path to becoming a cinephile, being exposed independent films. In college when my roommate was a cinema study major that I’ve always enjoyed the movies I frequently accompanied him on his class projects. A substantial number of these movies independent gems that I would never have heard of it not exposed to them in this fashion. Ever since then I made a point to frequent the art houses of Greenwich Village later supplemented by channels on cable devoted to these movies and now the privilege of having independent filmmakers actively sending me their latest opus. The most recent of these came from a distributor that specializes in movies that have premiered through the festival circuits, Level 33 Entertainment. The consideration is ‘1 Night’, an indie treat that was captivating and indicative of many of the aspects for an independent movie. It also exemplifies the criteria above with the discrepancy in its Rotten Tomatoes ranking of 20% for critics and 77% for the audience.

The introduction of the fundalmental themes is achived with an opening voiceover monologue by Elizabeth (Anna Camp), a woman in her early 30s. "Time is a funny thing. One day a little girl running fast towards an unknowable future, then suddenly you’re an adult not sure who you are or what you’re doing." She is in the process of preparing for the evening that stretches out before her. At this time the director/screenwriter, Minhal Baig, takes advantage of the opportunity to introduce the rest of the primary cast. Elizabeth is about to go out with Drew (Justin Chatwin), a man she is in a relationship with but is at the point of having to reconsider whether their marriage is worth the work necessary to salvage it. Deriving the driving force of the drama inherent in the story comes from juxtaposing the adult couple with a younger couple. Bea (Isabelle Fuhrman), a seriously minded teenager was about to reconnect with a childhood friend, Andy (Kyle Allen), during the school’s prom. So many cases movies that juxtapose two distinct sets of characters frequently keep them apart running the stories entirely in parallel. It is somewhat unexpected but thoroughly intriguing stylistic choice, Mr. Baig as the adult characters initiating and interacting with their younger counterparts. Notice is a very nervous Andy attempting to take yearbook photographs of the participants without much success. The subtle visual clue that he is considered the school nerd is the only tide, crooked bowtie that he wears. Drew approaches him, asking him about the camera and telling him that if he gives the students a reason to say no to be photographed, they inevitably will. Andy defensively defends his camera as a starter, which he plans to upgrade as soon as possible. Meanwhile, in the ladies room, Elizabeth is delaying the inevitable reunion with drew by pensively smoking a cigarette. Bea comes in and begins to compulsively wash our hands struggling to get a paper towel out of the dispenser. Elizabeth approaches her discussing how every problem is that basically the same one regardless of what year it happens to be, citing her own as an example. There is such a marvelous efficiency introducing the characters in this one brief scene. It provides a surprisingly insightful synopsis of each character ordering the audience with a baseline for the approaching character development each of the two couples will experience.

Both couples have arrived at an emotional nexus invoking very similar feelings it perceived differently, filtered through the lens of experience. Elizabeth and Drew all looking back at their lives sensitized by the difficulty their marriage is experiencing. Their encounter with Bea and Andy has stirred something deep within, forcing them to recall the earliest stages of their relationship. In contrast, the younger couples are afforded a glimpse into their possible adult selves. Both generations begin to realize time does not make as much of a difference as they had believed. The teenagers may have felt that life or get easier after a period of maturation, whilethe adults have deceived themselves that young love was devoid of problems. Relationship problems do not go away, how they manifest and are perceived as the most significant thing affected by the intervening years.

When Bea first arrived at the prom, she had a boyfriend, Dave (Evan Hofer) who unceremoniously dumped her at what was supposed to be a happy event. Overcome by self-deprecating anger, she plans on leaving; avoiding the after party at the hotel afraid that Dave would be in attendance. Her girlfriend Rachel (Kelli Berglund) refuses to allow her to be the only one in their class not in attendance. She explained that if she gives into that feeling that Dave has won, reluctantly Bea itself to be convinced. In a different scene occurring a few feet away, Andy and his friend Henry (Roshon Fegan) have paused just before the bank of elevators leading to the after party. Henry insists that Andy accompanies him to the party more or less as his ring man confident that this was the night he was going to get lucky. Coincidentally the boys get into the same elevator with the girls, and after a brief exchange of some casual words, they enter the party together or more accurately at the same time. Meanwhile outside Elizabeth has left the hotel with Drew behind her catching up. The stop on the street and revealed to the audience the core of the mouse will strike, Argentina. In a very natural exchange of dialogue, the situation is made clear to the audience without the details explicitly being mentioned. When Elizabeth mentions, Argentina Drew is quick to respond "we were on a break," to which Elizabeth counters "an opportunity presented itself, and you took it."

Elizabeth and Drew wind up in the empty movie theater and as a sit alone in the venue they reminisce about their first summer together and how he agreed to see a movie that she had wanted to see despite the fact that he had wanted to watch ‘The Big Lebowski.' Elizabeth preferred small foreign movies in the mood changes as they recall sitting in the back row laughing as the crew made up his dialogue much to the annoyance of the rest of the theater. Back at the party, Andy is approached by Dave and his new girlfriend. They’ve demand that Andy takes their picture. Before the can respond Bea kept him on the shoulder to tell him that she’s about to leave. Dave gets very insulting that he doesn’t care if there together because she’s "not all that." Andy responds to the insult by saying that he can take the picture he has the wrong film. The film he has with them is in the right to take a picture of a douche bag. Dave responds in typical bully fashion by punching Andy. This gets them both on our despite the initial anger on Bea’s part now they slowly begin to bond.

Following this succinctly choreographed pair of exchanges, the respective individuals again encounter their counterparts. As Elizabeth resumes her conversation with Bea, she provides some insight into the nature of emotional pain, Drew tries to assist Andy in making scene of what the younger man is experiencing with the fragile emotional Bea. Since Elizabeth and Drew’s relationship had some of their nascent moments at that hotel under similar circumstances their heartfelt conversations with their younger complements in effect brings them on a journey back in time. The reciprical emotional journey pulls the teenages into a potential future for Bea and Andy. One of the most indelible feelings that this film invokes in the audience is the organic symmetry that created by the emotive states of the four individual and the psychological similarities to their current circumstances. Both Elizabeth and Bea must contend with the end of a relationship. While at the same time both Drew and Andy are forced to realize that to progress further in their emotional development that has to acknowledge the necessity to reconsider how the perceive themselves and enact the appropriate changes if they are to make their respective relationships work on any level.

Although this is not a well know cast, per se, they are certain to be familiar to many people. Anna Camp ha a pivotal, multi season role on the acclaimed HBO series ‘True Blood’ while Justin Chatwin has been a constant presence with recurring roles in such shows as ‘American Gothic,' ‘Orphan Black ‘and ‘Shameless.' Kyle Allen is currently starring in the Hulu original dramatic series, ‘The Path.' Isabelle Fuhrman held a featured part of ‘The Master of Sex’ as well as the titular character in the horror film, ‘Orphan.' If you have tweens in your home, you might recognize Kelli Berglund from her leading role in the Disney-XD popular action series, ‘Lab Rats,' in all of its numerous incarnations. These are a talented artist with many excellent performances in their future. Incredibly this is the freshman feature film outing as both director and screen writer for Minhal Baig. With only a pair of short films on his credits, he exhibits an incredible natural gift for telling a genuinely heartfelt human story driven by character development. Shot on a miniscule budget with only 16 days for principle photography Mr. Baig elicited such amazing performances from his cast that you cannot help but be drawn inexorably into the lives of these realistically drawn people. There is a decidedly Mumblecore feel to the style with some influences of the draconian directorial schools like Dogma (5 but without the disconcerting feeling of unnecessary restrictions. The lack of soundtrack or musical cues comes off as completely natural giving the viewer a voyeuristic feel of being right there in the shot with the actors. Not only didn’t I immediately notice the albescence of incident music subsequent viewings helped me realize that such affectations of the modern film would be entirely out of place here ruining the flow of the story and the ideal pacing of the film. The only reason I could think of for the undeservedly low critical ranking online is this film requires the audience to immerse themselves in the experience, surround you with the intimate exposure to the lives of the characters.

The film is currently available through video on demand services at this time.

Posted 03/06/2017

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