Salón Royale (2011)

Salón Royale is a subtle comedy-drama evolving in a specific microcosm. Three women share a car as they travel to – and from – a party. But dominating their conversation is a man – a man who isn’t even there. Slowly but steadily, one of the women allows her jealousies and insecurities to break out into the open.

 

This well-made short film – written, directed, and produced by Sabrina Campos – uses the way women do (or do not) communicate with each other as the basis for its little drama. With the encounter set in a moving car, the protagonists cannot avoid each other. And neither the brief, uncomfortable silences nor the attempts at changing the subject can prevent the minor meltdown we are witnessing.

 

Salón Royale is an example of economical story-telling, as it has just one location and only two or three different camera angles. As the car was actually moving through traffic, however, it cannot have been an easy shoot regardless. Working on the sounds in post-production probably also was made difficult by this way of shooting. But I really like the results: the film looks good, and the sound feels very nicely balanced between the dialogue, the car’s sounds, and the outside noises. With a few short, quick cuts at certain points the editing heightens the claustrophobic feeling as it keeps the action even tighter within this closed-off space.

 

Everything in this film feels right: the sound, the wardrobe, the design, even the theme music – all fit perfectly together. But in the end, with this film it is all about the writing and the way the writing is delivered. Sabrina Campos created a very believable and convincing little drama with three very real female characters who all have different personalities. And the three perfectly cast actresses (Luciana Lifschitz, Julieta Zylberberg, and Marina Bellati) have great chemistry and a perfect sense of timing and delivery.

 

All this makes Salón Royale a highly enjoyable short film. Rating: 8 out of 10.

 

PS: Salón Royale is currently available with English subtitles on http://www.loscortos.com .

 

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