Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
Distributed by: Estrella Damn
Written by Jeff Sparks
“Vale” is a short film about the character-building moments that come from spending time with friends and having new experiences together whether big or small. Directed by Alejandro Amenabar, the film manages to stand out from the pack due to its meaningful themes and also its cast which includes Dakota Johnson, Natalia Tena, and Quim Gutierrez. Although I like the cast, I have the same problem I have with many short films in which I find myself conflicted with it due to the fact the short is only twelve minutes long. I can only imagine how Johnson and Tena would impress in a feature film together. Nonetheless, I still like the film primarily due to the way its themes were executed, even if that execution is rather simple.
The film opens with a Spanish man named Victor attempting to strike up a conversation with an American woman named Rachel (Johnson) but fails due to the language barrier. His friend Claudia (Tena) teases his futile efforts by telling him he doesn’t have any character anyway. Victor goes unnoticed by Rachel until he begins answering trivia questions about the group’s hobbies like music and movies that the others are unable to answer. Throughout the day the friends ask each other more and more questions that Victor continues to know the answers to until even he wonders how he knows all of these things. Eventually, he realizes all these answers were learned while experiencing all the topics in question after Claudia or his other friends would invite him out for beers and a movie or concert. Finally, Rachel realizes she and Victor have a lot in common and has a beer with him under the stars despite the language barrier. I like this film because of the importance put on these themes of friendship and coming together because in life the connections we make with each other are what matters most and the creators of this film understand that, even if it is essentially a glorified beer commercial.
“Vale” Short Film