Ctirad Gotz, Tereza Mareckova, Petra Hobzova, Jaroslava Cervenkova
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"The First Night" a Thoughtful, Engaging Short
Writer/director Silvia Gregorova is back with her second short film The First Night, a 21-minute film that thoughtfully engages the human heart and mind in telling a universal story that will likely resonate with anyone who's ever experienced the uncertainties of life, loneliness, and an unknowing future.
Ctirad Götz is Frantisek, a fiftyish widow drinking away his grief while frequently showing up late to his job as the town gravedigger. Anicka (Tereza Mareckova) is a younger girl in the village, a seemingly lonely girl who spends much of her time practicing her violin and wondering about the future. When Frantisek and Anicka's relatives get the idea to match the two up for less than stellar reasons, one can't help but wonder if despite their essential goodness they'd have both been better off lonely.
As she did with her first short film Treasure, Gregorova has crafted a compelling and meaningful film. While Treasure leaned into comedy much more fully, The First Night carries with it a strong sense of melancholy amidst a quiet humor and quite touching storyline. It helps, of course, to have a strong ensemble cast and such is the case here. In particular, both Götz and Mareckova are stellar in this timeless not quite fairy tale that touches the heart precisely because you can't help but care about Frantisek and Anicka.
Lensing by Martin Sec is strong throughout and captures quite beautifully the film's Czech Republic locale. Original music by up-and-coming composer Darek Král companions the film quite nicely.
With honest, slight humor and tremendous intelligence and heart, The First Night is a film that lingers in the heart long after the closing credits have rolled. While the scenario is familiar and universal, Gregorova adds her own unique touches to it all and produces a mighty fine short film.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic