WATCH THE FILM HERE
First, the Recap:
When things are left unspoken, remain unaccomplished, are not pursued–so much can be lost. Is it an inherent fear we will be rejected, failing in the attempt to step forward into something new and exciting only to watch the opportunity fade away before our eyes? Do we then determine whether or not it’s too late to finally launch ourselves into the unknown. Alex (Nick Leali) is haunted by such notions, even as he takes his table’s order, as his eyes wander to an adjacent table where sits a vision from his past, Rachel (Jacquelynne Faith Bernstein), now grown up and on a date. Once arriving to their table, it becomes evident said companion’s (Cam Owen) inattentive demeanor and arrogant attitude isn’t sitting well at all with her.
Once her date leaves to argue business on his phone, Alex takes the chance to sit down and ask Rachel out the following evening. Upon accepting his offer, Alex’s drive home after work is filled with an overjoyed sense of fulfillment–until a sudden, violent circumstance robs him of it all. Waking to an attendant’s (Bryan Perritt) stunned and confused reaction at the facility he was taken to, Alex’s weakened state still doesn’t prevent his absolute resolve to make his date with Rachel. Stumbling to her door, Rachel immediately knows something is amiss, but Alex comes to and dismisses the notion. As the two of them begin to recollect about their childhood and an eerily similar occurrence she faced then, a magical, late born attraction with hard realities is experienced, yet is then tempered with fantastical hope.
Next, my Mind:
Completely amazing in its deft combination of strong pathos, drama, and mild humor while packing an overall emotional punch that will impact any living being with a heart, writer/director/co-producer/cinematographer/editor F.C. Rabbath’s newest 12-minute short film is a fantastic example of how much can be said in so little time. The excellent visual work here, especially in flashback sequences of the two lead character’s endearingly cute times as kids playing in a sprawling green field which powerfully evokes childhood innocence, moves the viewer and makes the present day sequences towards the film’s finale even more engaging and heartfelt. Add to this imagery a perfectly orchestrated musical score created by Valentin Boomes, and one cannot help but be one hundred percent invested.
Thanks to Rabbath’s well-written dialogue, Leali’s portrayal of Alex is even more deeply affecting when combined with his spot-on delivery and emotive stylings. Infusing Alex with such an “everyman”, humble manner and a transparently presented drive to correct a mistake he made in life, it surely tugs at one’s deepest feelings and impacts the tear ducts by the end. The same can be said for Bernstein’s Rachel, Alex’s original childhood crush, who’s never known the depth of his attraction to her until moments like they share between her doorstep and the public park, which acts as the heart-wrenching conclusion’s setting. Bernstein’s genuineness and sincere attitude radiates from her in waves and fits this narrative’s atmosphere with grace.
The supporting efforts from Owen and Perritt are, each in their own right, just what the doctor ordered in how their respective characters play into Alex and Rachel’s overall story, and enough cannot be said for the child actors involved here–Jude Lane, Irelynn Daupert, Deklan Kole, and Elia Nassif–all of whom are just adorable and central to the mood, tone, and ultimate kicker of the story over the course of its unfolding. In total, “One More Time” is an extraordinary effort that not only further illustrates the quality indie filmmaking occurring out there, but also provides a compelling look at the idea of “he who hesitates is lost” but with a “there’s always hope” coda that will make you think and touch your soul.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!