Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Actor/Writer, Tawny Sorensen for allowing me early access to an online screener of her 15 minute, Drama short “Cat’s Cradle”, Directed by David Spaltro. Cat’s Cradle focuses on young adult couple, Amy and Jim (played by Sorensen and Nabil Vinas) who’ve been luckless so far in their attempt to conceive. With Jim’s regimented nights for the two always pre planned, a crisis of self-identification arises along with certain truths that threaten the couple’s core foundation. It doesn’t happen all that often, but every now and again I open my email to find random screeners that have been sent in for review, as was the case with Tawny’s debut short.
The plot synopsis for Cat”s Cradle is fairly thin and in this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised with some of the topics and themes on display in Tawny’s writing. The film looks to open a line of communication on that exact thing, communication, particularly between couples and partners. The dynamics of the man woman relationship in modern society have changed significantly over the years, so much so that many things go unsaid during the development of relationships, crucial things that end up being a problem later in life. Sorensen analyses sex, and where it fits into married life once children enter the fold, as well as looking at the severity in the responsibility required when you bring a child into the world. These are all relevant topics for discussion and make for an interesting narrative (even if you’re like me, single with no kids). The film is nicely framed and well shot, the audio levels are crisp too. The soundtrack is lively, utilizing some really smooth reggae guitar at the beginning and sweet blues notes later in proceedings. Both, Sorenson and Vinas (who I must say closely resembles fellow actor Jeremy Piven) have solid chemistry together and their dialogue flows organically.
There’s not a lot to pick at in the short 15 minute running time, but there were a couple of momentary focus issues during the back and forth between Amy and Jim. Some of the background music (which is low in the mix anyway) didn’t really seem to fit, tonally speaking, especially as the argument escalated. Tawny’s commentary on the state of the world right now and what it means to bring someone into it, is a good thing. It only further highlights the issues we have with population and our ever dwindling resources, but it is perhaps a little heavy-handed during the monologue.
Cat’s Cradle is an engaging, thought-provoking and important Drama from first-timer, Tawny Sorensen. It’s well shot, most of the soundtrack shines through brightly and each of the performances command your attention. It has a couple of minor issues but you’ve got to look hard at them and ideally you’ll be drawn into the discussion, making your own judgements of the situation and where you’d stand if put in a similar position. In a perfect world this film is shown to new couples and people thinking about starting a family. As a whole, people don’t truly have a grasp of the seriousness of it all and this film could help with that. At the very least, this should open the discussion for us all.
My rating for “Cat’s Cradle” is 8.5/10