On the day of his 21st birthday, a young man encounters troubles with his life at home and visits a brothel with his friend in the short drama Vincent.
While there have been many coming-of-age tales in the past, director Gabriele Di Sazio tackles the subject in a different and interesting manner with the short film Vincent. There are no teen drama crushes or frat parties here. It’s mature and superbly made.
Opening up on what looks like a train yard, Vincent (Dakota Kappen) is offered a night out for his birthday by his friend Bunny (Vince Washington). Vincent politely declines and makes his way home, where his mother Caroline (Beau Garrett) is waiting with a home-made lasagne for his birthday meal. Just as they are about to eat, there is a ringing of the doorbell. Vincent answers the door to find his estranged father John (James Aaron Oliver) has visited in order to hand-deliver his present.
It’s obvious from John and Caroline’s mannerisms that their break-up is recent and still stings. When Caroline finds out that John’s new partner is waiting in the car for him, she explodes, screaming and smashing plates, basically ruining her son’s day.
Having had enough of the shouting and arguing, Vincent leaves the house, meets up with Bunny and visits a brothel. Nervously walking into one of the bedroom, h is greeted by a prostitute who is eerily familiar to that of his own mother (and actually played by the same actress Beau Garrett).
As mentioned above, Vincent is a superbly made short film. The cinematography is polished and looks like it was made with quite a bit of cash. Using crisp lighting techniques throughout, with some great palette choices – browns from home, the harsh reds for the brothel, and the cool blue for night time, it certainly stands out and it shows that a lot of time, effort and thought had gone into making the short film stand out.
The editing by Yufei Skylar Zhang is polished. Zhang wisely lets the scenes and shots breathe, not opting to make quick and unnecessary cuts which would certainly take away from the story itself. Every cut is made with a precision that is kind of rare amongst short films. We should know, we watch enough of them.
Moving onto the performances. Vincent is lucky to have such an excellent cast. Though only four actors feature in the short film, all four give it their all. Dakota Kappen exudes both innocence and mystery, while James Aaron Oliver is believable as a man who wants to get on with his life, all the while putting on a realistic stammer.
Beau Garret is a revelation as both the mother and the prostitute. Both, whilst mostly familiar in appearance, are completely different characters. We see the rage and heartbreak of the mother in one scene, and then the tenderness of a woman of the night with the prostitute. She really does well with the material written by both Gabriele Di Sazo and Christina Yang.
Vincent is a mature, interesting, and professionally made short film that is totally deserving of the awards that have showered it to date. Very impressive.