If there's a gift that director Chris Esper has, it's likely capturing ordinary people in rather extraordinary circumstances. He does that in his everyday life as the founder of Massachusetts-based Stories in Motion, a production company that finds the stories in everyday life and not-so-everyday fantasy and brings them all to life.
This is the case with his latest short film, the 10-minute reality kinda sorta meets fantasy film The Deja Vuers, a story that is more complicated than you might expect a 10-minute short film to be yet also incredibly simple.
Chuck (Kris Salvi) is a working class guy with a girlfriend, kind of, who stumbles across Morgan (Christie Devine) sitting alone on a park bench.
He remembers her.
She doesn't remember him.
But yeah, there's this weird sense of "what if" mixed with an even stronger sense of "I'm not even remotely attracted to you."
Paths crossed, we're faced with whether or not The Deja Vuers turns into a John Cusack movie or, perhaps, something a little more extraordinary.
This is Chris Esper we're talking about, though he's working from an inventive and fun script from Jason K. Allen, so it's pretty much inevitable that The Deja Vuers isn't quite going the John Cusack route. Instead, we get a wonderful little story about how paths may very well be meant to cross but, in the end, it doesn't always mean that fates are intertwined.
A gem, indeed.
Christie Devine is adorably wary as Morgan, though she turns on the sexy charm when a certain Repairman (J.P. Valenti) enters the scenario. Kris Salvi nicely captures Chuck, a seemingly nice guy with just enough of a traditionalist inside him that he radiates a slight, well, pervishness.
I'm pretty sure pervish is a word.
As is always true of Esper's films, The Deja Vuers is impeccably shot with Evan Schneider's lensing proving that you can produce an incredibly high quality short film on an incredibly low budget.
No excuses, y'all.
The Deja Vuers is one of those magical little short films that you stumble across at an indie film festival and instantly find yourself smiling for the rest of the day. If you get a chance, you'll want to catch the film and check out the Stories in Motion website, linked to in the credits, to find out more about Esper's work.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic