If you like to go out on online blind dates, you might second guess your choices once you watch the Mexican thriller Rendez-Vous.
Eduardo (Antonio Alcantara) and Lili (Helena Puig) go out on a first date after meeting on an online dating App. They go to a museum, walk the streets and continue the night at his place. After having a couple of drinks over very unusual actions and awkward reactions, one of them seems to have ulterior motives and the date takes unexpected turns–yes, there are several twists. What starts as a romantic evening will turn into a nightmare for one of them, and into a survival experience for the other.
Unlike other films where everything seems to be shot in one take, Rendez-Vous is actually filmed in one take. How many retakes did it take to film? According to one of the actors, Antonio Alcantara, it was done in one take during one night in one try–but there was a lot of rehearsing prior to filming. This little piece of information made me appreciate it even more for the solid preparation it had to deliver a different kind of film.
At times, the conversation is natural and fluid at times while at moments it sort of gets stuck in limbo–it must be one of the consequences of acting it out as if it was a play. This makes it look like it barely moves forward but considering you’ll get to watch a first date being documented, from beginning to end, this attributes quite a bit to its rhythm.
The acting is very natural and awkward–in my personal experience for first dates. As the night moves forward, the acting gets stronger and the characters crack their own shells to reveal their own profiles without much explanation other than their actions and the best part of this story is they have several profiles–why have many characters when each can play all. The setting is basically the townie streets of Mexico which look very pretty and cozy in black-and-white.
One thing I noticed is that some of the dialogue during the street scenes is dubbed. When the characters are far away from the camera or when they’re walking through a noisy place, the dubbing is evident and it throws you out of sync. And, don’t get me wrong, the film’s still respectable for doing the whole thing in one single take but it sort of makes you wonder if something should’ve been thought in advance for this situation.
Rendez-Vous highlights in a very thrilling but slow and violent way the dangers of online dating. The outcome might bring joy or a bad aftertaste according to which character you’re rooting for–it might make you wish it never happened or you’d be glad it did.
9 OUT OF 10 WINE GLASSES