TIFF 2018 Review: “Paseo” (2018) ★★★★


One-night stands can end in any way. But Alice, who’s in Spain and just finished working on her latest film, happens to miss her flight and thought she can have, let’s say it in Spanish, la noche passionata. But what she did not know though is that the night has its own dark, sinister outcome, which Alice is yet to get ready to comprehend.

“Paseo” is based on Sarah Gadon’s story and the screenplay is written and directed by Mathew Hannam. It follows Alice, a young woman who expresses her wish to explore more of the city Barcelona while she awaits for her flight. But after missing it, don’t ask how, she goes to a bar where she meets a handsome man. As the night goes by and Alice is getting more drunk, she, whether she realizes or not, finds herself in the room of the same man hoping to conclude the night on a logical note. But the woman didn’t know that who she was or whoever she wanted to become won’t matter as what happens in the same room will change her forever.

Short films are always fun to watch, but never satisfying enough, as it always leaves us wishing to see more. But that’s the juicy part of it when the director navigates through one single story and places it in a way such that fourteen minutes of running time should be enough to tell the whole story. In fact, that was the case with “Paseo” when, for instance, we find Alice in Barcelona, alone and wondering around, where we sensed that something bad is about happen.

But her perseverance and adventurous spirit makes her to do what was right in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not here writing this piece to justify her actions, but in this wild jungle called world, we may have to go to the extremes to survive, isn’t it? And thanks to Sarah Gadon’s confident performance, you will be getting a complete, and unquestionably, the best human characteristic you may get in one single individual, who knows very well what needs to be done to get away from a nightmarish night, safe and sound.

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