Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Co-Writer and Director, Itai Guberman for sending me a link to his 12 minute, Drama/Thriller short “Dolphin”. Dolphin picks up with Nicky and Erez (played respectively by Inbal Eizenberg and Asaf Angel) during their seemingly successful blind date. Erez thinks it may be his lucky night but it’s Nicky who has other plans. The film also stars Daria Ilein. Itai was kind enough to reach out to me in regards to reviewing his work, and as always, I’m happy to oblige when it comes to content from new filmmakers.
Guberman and Angel’s script is pretty straight forward once Nicky’s intentions are made clear, but it works well in this condensed format. It’s De Palma like in nature (Passion and Obsession) in terms of the cat and mouse game approach. 1973’s “Thriller: A Cruel Picture” from Sweden comes to mind as well. I thought most of the framing was solid and the audio track clear. There’s some nice close-ups during the scene where Nicky and Erez become more intimate. Inbal and Asaf deliver good performances and even though I could telegraph what was coming, I still had fun with it.
Even with its framing and smart shots, Ezra Jackson’s edit is particularly hasty and might have benefited from smoother transitions. Once things start to escalate there’s some partially wonky camera movement, almost as if the DP was trying to find the right placement for the shot while in the middle of it. I think the combination of low lighting and flat color saturation hurts the look of the film as well (though keep in mind this was shot for only a few thousand dollars US). I thought the score was also rather uninspiring, never really carrying any layers. Nicky makes a physical move at one point that results in Erez being caught off guard. Though I found it hard to believe a woman her size would be able to have that kind of impact, especially given the action she chooses.
Although Dolphin was slightly uneven in some of its presentation, it still managed to entertain me sufficiently. I like the tension levels, some of the technical aspects and both of the lead performances. Some of the camera movement and post production color could have used some improvement, along with the music. Even with those particulars I didn’t really care for, Dolphin is still worth 12 minutes of your time. It’s available for viewing at the link below, Enjoy!
My rating for “Dolphin” is 6/10