Dances With Films is well underway, but there are plenty of great films yet to make their world premiere! “Wink,” a new short film by Monika Petrillo, is one of these exceptional films that comprises an extraordinary line up at this year’s festival.
Melanie (Caitlin Brandes) appears to live the perfect life in her perfectly kept house with a perfectly manicured yard in the perfect little neighborhood. This is the epitome of suburbia. Today is her anniversary, but the evening does not work out as planned thanks to her distracted, workaholic husband. Not allowing his negligence to get the better of her, she buries her emotions and continues on with her evening. What happens the next day spices up her life in a most unusual way, but is this something she can tell her husband? Or will this just be her little secret?
“Wink” is a beautiful story filled with an array of emotions while using very little dialogue. Brandes is exceptional as she portrays this bored housewife looking for and needing a little attention from her not-so-perfect husband (Michael Chandler). Her eyes, with just a glance or a sudden twinkle, engage you and connect you to her. Quite interestingly, there is a parallel life being lead by the little goldfish she is caring for…she, like the goldfish, seems trapped and confined. As she gives this little guy a “change of scenery,” she also finds a way to add a little spice to her day. And in a blink of an eye, we all share her secret.
The story itself is beautiful and rich, but Petrillo’s attention to each and every detail make this short film quite remarkable. The set design is impeccable, carefully matching the personality of this young couple. The colors are equally rich and the piano music playing in the background add a tasteful touch to every scene. With this dialogue-light film, the body language and the extraneous sounds are used to augment Melanie’s emotions— from the incessant twirling of a napkin ring to the tapping of a spoon on a tea cup, Melanie’s reactions are familiar and simply sublime.
Petrillo’s screenwriting and editing is so succinct that by the end of the film, you feel as if you are in on Melanie’s secret. I dare you not to have a smirk on your face as you watch the final scene. And I guarantee that you will never hear or utter the words, “How was your day?” the same way again. While Melanie’s day was a very unique one, we are reminded to make each and every day a little special.
“Wink” premieres in L.A. at Dances With Films on Tuesday, June 6 at 5 pm as a part of the Fusion Shorts Program. For more information and tickets, go to danceswithfilms.com/wink. Follow “Wink” on Facebook at facebook.com/winkshortfilm
Be sure to check back for an interview with the filmmaker with FF2 Media in the coming days.