Oportunidad "Opportunity" (2003): Spain is just full of surprises huh?
Mystery, Suspense, Action, Sci-Fi, Romance… did I miss a genre? Well, I didn't and especially not when it comes to my review of Spanish director Fran Casanova's Oportunidad "Opportunity", a 7yr-old short film from Madrid that summons up the fervor that must've hit the European coastlines like a swollen wave of radioactive and infectious sci-fi action when "The Matrix" series crossed the pond. Aside from being an amazingly observant writer and filmmaker, Fran is also a Martial Arts choreographer that was at the helm of all the action, both behind and in front of the camera. This short starts off with our everyday, run-of-the-mill, bored and over-stimulated arts school student sleeping and recovering from yet, no doubt, another monotonous day of theory in a sterile college classroom. At first, it plays well with the annoyingness of the mundane moments in our lives like an alarm clock bolting us out of sweet slumber only to toss us into a seemingly peculiar dream sequence that may or may not be happening, as is such with this kind of story trajectory. Except, that when it gets rolling (straight Neo-style) it doesn't stop thrillingly unraveling the action until you are absolutely sure you got a handle on it that up until a point near the end, I feel, is when this short falls short; and although I gave it 5 stars, it has a mediocre ending.
There can be no doubt of Fran Casanova's talent both as a Writer/Director or as a fight choreographer but he would be at a great disservice here at Openfilm if I weren't able to critique the blatant rip on one of Hollywood's all-time greatest sci-fi action movie trilogies and I'm sure he knew it full well once he began to write it. With that said, it has to be said, Fran also has a great control over his actors and that may be where his ultimate triumph lies because "Opportunity" lives up to its title after the first 2 minutes… because both he and the character found their chance and took it.
Ok, so now I'll start in with the over-pronounced lighting and the cheesy music… never mind. It's been seen in enough festivals around the world and foreign TV channels that… Nuff said, I actually DID enjoy it and even more when the nameless "Trinity" character arrived on the scene, or at the door as it were, and kicked the film into high gear… causing our protagonist, by the name of Frank Evans, played by Victor Prieto, to discover his latent abilities to run fast, kick ass, and get the strange and mysterious love interest into digging him enough to lay hot red lips on him… 3 times!
Fran Casanova has 2 more shorts and his director's reel on his channel and he has been keeping busy from what he's offered us. Check out a trailer for his newest film El Corazón del Dragón (The Heart of the Dragon).