Phoenyx Rose, Don P., Adrian Marcel, Quania Love Jones
Jayson Johnson, Sara Anders
"T.H.O.T?" Has Provocative Title, Thoughtful Story
With a title like T.H.O.T?, you could be forgiven for expecting co-writer/director Jayson Johnson's 10-minute short film to some raunchy little flick, however, there's a heck of a lot more going on in this thoughtful, well-written romantic film centered around Kev (Arion Johnson) and Stacy (Phoenyx Rose).
Kev is a confident dude, a player really, transfixed on his date for the night with Stacy while at the neighborhood barbershop. It's at this barbershop, of course, where the gossip spills and reputations are won and lost and stretched. It's clear that there's a familiarity with Stacy, or maybe it's that other Stacy, and the more Kev listens the more he grows a bit uncertain about his intentions.
Stacy, on the other hand, is looking for something a bit more serious and eyes Kev as a more thoughtful gent. He's boyfriend material and maybe even more. It's clear she has a bit of a reputation, but it's also clear she's looking for more despite the fact that her roommate Tasha (Quania Love Jones) tries to temper her expectations. She shows up for her date with Kev first, greeted and seated by Isiah (Adrian Marcel), whom we will recognize.
T.H.O.T? is, in fact, an ideally titled short film provocative in its storytelling but not in the ways that you might expect. With a small but effective ensemble, T.H.O.T? explores a myriad of compelling ideas in its modest running time yet uses every single one of its minutes meaningfully. Devindra Sooknanan's lensing for the film is creative and amplifies the film's more thoughtful and introspective nature and the script by Johnson with Sara Anders is ultimately hopeful but also realistic.
Both Johnson and Rose give intuitive, emotionally honest performances and it's pretty clear they understand the underlying vision for the film. While T.H.O.T? leaves you wanting more, the story that unfolds is one that sticks with you even after the closing credits have rolled by.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic