“Just One Drink” is a film directed and written by Andrew De Burgh that centres on a revenge story where a beautiful young widow named Tamara (played by Barbara Nedeljakova) lures two college students Peter and Derek, to her Hollywood apartment for a New Year’s Eve party.
Tamara seems to know more bout these two than they think. It is soon revealed that this is about revenge.
Andrew De Burgh, the film does an excellent job of building suspense and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Right from the film, the film feels small with tight-framed shorts that seem to be trying to box and trap you in. You can almost immediately tell that Tamara has an ulterior motive for her guests and you just have to wait to see what happens.
The film’s narrative style, pacing as well as accompanying score sets up an intense feeling that also builds up the suspense.
Nedeljakova‘s performance also contributes to all this. She is persuasive and almost very determined to fulfil whatever her agenda is. Although we do not immediately get to know more about her. It is clear that if her character is well exposed and developed could unpack many layers of emotion that could serve as motivation for her actions. She comes off as a very likeable person but then she shows that she can be vicious and calculative. After all, single-handedly, she can trap these two young men with the incentive of just one drink.
The entire episode seems to be set almost entirely within the confines of Tamara’s apartment. The film’s cinematographer Luca Mercuri takes advantage of this and makes the best use of the space with some tight angles and dark shadowy lighting choices.
I would score this film 5/10. With the little that is shown in such a small runtime, it still manages to tease all that it’s yet to show. Particularly, it would be interesting to get to know the actual stories of Peter and Derek. Besides their interactions with Tamara, we do not get to know them and understand their intentions and motivations at all.
Overall, “Just One Drink” feels like a very well-made short setting you up for a bigger world of drama filled with twists and suspense. With the film’s core theme being revenge you can only expect more of betrayal and its subsequent precautions. Hopefully, this is fully explored in any follow-ups.