THE PUZZLE (2008) Short Film Review

Directed by: Davide Melini
Starring: Cachito Noguera, Alessandro Fornari

Recently I was contacted by director Davide Melini who had a couple of short films for me to review. Following this review for THE PUZZLE I will also be posting a review for another or Melini's films titled THE SWEET HAND OF THE WHITE ROSE. 

As short films go THE PUZZLE is very short indeed, clocking in at just under 5 minutes including the opening and closing credits. It begins with a woman (Noguera) receiving a phone call from her son (Fornari) and it is soon obvious that they don't have such a great relationship. Apparently he is asking for money but she refuses, telling him that he always spends her money on stupid things. After slamming down the phone she decides to spend the rest of the evening relaxing and passing the time with a puzzle. But as the pieces fall into place an uneasy feeling creeps in and it's obvious that something is not quite right.

This is easily the shortest short film I have seen so far, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. While a lot of shorts run for 15 or 20 minutes or more, a lot of them feel a little too padded. THE PUZZLE however overcomes this problem by stripping out anything unnecessary and just getting straight to the point before finally finishing off with a bang.
Though the synopsis may not be very deep, this short shows that writer/director Melini knows how to handle a camera and is able to hold your attention for as long as need be. 
As for the acting there is not really much to speak of, but both actors do a good job of what is required of them. Noguera only has a couple of short lines at the beginning which she delivers competently while the rest of the time she spends doing mundane things like piecing together the puzzle or boiling a pot of water.

The only real criticism I have is that THE PUZZLE may have benefited more from a slightly darker presentation as I felt it was a little too bright. Other than that though it was a great, bare-bones film with a creepy and somewhat ambiguous aspect.

To check out a whole bunch of goodies including posters, stills, movies, interviews and reviews of Melini's work you can head here.

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