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The Candidate

Grippingly well-crafted
I've had the privilege of seeing "The Candidate" on several occasions now, and it seriously blows me away every time. I'm not really one for hyperbole, but I can't help but shower this film with praise. It's probably one of the best short films I've seen. When you see it on the big screen, it's honestly hard to believe you're watching a student film.

Before I get too far I should disclose that I consider the director, David Karlak, a good friend. That must somehow be coloring my opinion. But the first time I saw "The Candidate", I went slack-jawed for like 15 minutes.

I don't know why I like it so much, honestly. I love twists, first of all. I love this genre. But this film totally 'got' me. It's so seductive. It hooked me in and led me delicately along and spit me out at the end with my mind reeling at the implications.

It's an extremely well-crafted film where everything just *works*. The stylized writing, nuanced performances, beautiful cinematography... the technical quality of the film is difficult to criticize. But it's really the handling of the story that deserves the most praise. The film is well-paced, well-structured, gets your imagination going.... and the twist is masterfully executed.

I look forward to seeing how this film fares in competition. To me, this is a pretty astonishing first directorial effort -- I can't wait to watch from the sidelines as David steps into what I'm sure will be an impressive career.


I just watched this short film on a DVD of other Dutch shorts, and I came hear to read more about the project.

Unlike the first reviewer, I felt the film was compelling from beginning to end. It's a very subtle film, and its realism, its reserve, and its melancholic tone really worked for me.

Certainly, this film presents the viewer with an atypical cinematic experience. To be sure, there is not much explained. But it certainly got me to think and wonder and reflect, and this is a real achievement. To me this is a bold film, and I respect the filmmaker for not making it immediately more accessible.


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