The Movie Waffler First Look Review - RENDEZ-VOUS | The Movie Waffler

First Look Review - RENDEZ-VOUS

rendez-vous review
A pair of strangers meet for a blind date, but are they all that they seem?

Review by Hugues Porquier

Directed by: Pablo Olmos Arrayales

Starring: Antonio Alcántara, Helena Puig, Markin López, Axel Zapién, Aaron Gómez, Italo Maximiliano Concha Veloz, Héctor Vázquez Urquieta

rendez-vous poster

The sequence shot is a practice that is starting to spread more and more in recent years, as can be seen with 1917 (2019, Sam Mendes), Birdman (2014, Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu) or certain sequences from Climax (2018, Gaspar Noé). Pablo Olmos Arrayales is the latest to employ the sequence shot with his new film Rendez-Vous.

Over almost 85 minutes without interruption, we follow Lili (Helena Puig) and Eduardo (Antonio Alcantara Cruz), who after exchanging messages through a dating app have decided to see each other in real life.

rendez-vous review

The meeting, which begins badly with Eduardo's delay, finally takes a different path. After visiting an art museum, Lili and Eduardo go to Eduardo's apartment where he offers to prepare a meal to make up for his delay.

We follow the two protagonists through the streets of Mexico. In this part of the film, the use of the sequence shot is really interesting. It creates a strong aspect of realism, which allows us to become fully immersed in this nascent relationship that makes us discover a city full of life.

During this walk, the two characters gradually get to know each other and begin to show a mutual interest despite their differing characters.

On one side is the extroverted Lili, who is not afraid of ridicule and takes life as it comes, and on the other is the reserved Eduardo who, as he says himself, is someone who likes to foresee things, to anticipate.

rendez-vous review

Once at the apartment, the romance flickers and the film gradually changes its tone. Lili becomes suspicious of Eduardo's behaviour.

The idea of this second half of the film is good, but the execution is less convincing than in the first half.

Indeed, the use of the sequence shot, which in the opening half allowed for total immersion, seems here to be an obstacle to the smooth running of the film. The events struggle to follow one another and the film uses situations that seem almost forced to advance the plot.

rendez-vous review

In the same vein, the actors, who were very good in a context of realism and authenticity, are less convincing in this second half, which gradually changes register until it plunges into horror.

The film remains very interesting, and the scenario doesn't let us predict who is actually the real threat between Lili and Eduardo, almost until the end. Both characters are well developed and the black and white photography fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the film. The streets of Mexico seem really attractive with such wonderful photography. The only negative point of this movie is that some actions and events seem really forced in order to advance the plot, and this weakness is directly linked to the use of the sequence shot.

Rendez-Vous is on US VOD now. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.

2021 movie reviews