Exceptionally directed, Blue Borsalino is the full package in terms of a perfect short film.
A director who was worked with the likes of young and impressive British talent such as Lily James and Maisie Williams, Mark Lobatto is a man whose work should be shared to the world. Thankfully, here at Filmoria we got the chance to watch one of Mark’s short films, Blue Borsalino, and witness firsthand the true talent of this wonderful filmmaker.
Blue Borsalino presents retired private investigator Ernie Child (Titanic’s David Warner) as he comes to find out that the woman involved in his very first case, Jean Delaware (Margot Leicester) has awoken from a coma that has lasted for almost a staggering fifty years.
Visiting the hospital and the bedside of Jean, Ernie recollects his first ever case and the events that led to the comatose state of Jean that led her to lose nearly half a century of her life. When doing so, Ernie reveals a secret that he has kept for decades…
A project that was funded by Kickstarter and has since been showcased across multiple festivals, Blue Borsalino us an utter joy to behold, with the directorial craft and writing credentials of Mark Lobatto shown in full bloom. Here we have a story that is instantly engaging and continuously magnetic, weaving a powerful and affecting story that remains human throughout.
At the heart of the short film is David Warner’s superb performance as the retired private investigator finally given the chance to reveal a secret that has clearly worn him down through the decades. It’s a true testament to Warner’s veteran experience, the way in which he conveys that real sense of emotional connectivity with the audience in such a small space of time and instantly creates that spark that makes us want to invest in him as an individual.
The film is furthered by a fantastic sense of direction led by Lobatto, combining past and present sequences, each with their own distinct colour pallet and imagery that sticks in the mind long after. One particular moment of directorial prowess comes in a flashback sequence entering a brightly-lit fairground. With the surrounding area populated by greenery, the way in which Lobatto captures the moment, lit by the carousel his character is approaching, it looks simply stunning and yet still captures a sense of unnerving tension in the moment. Such scenes can be difficult to truly bottle up the mood and represent the true feelings of the character at that one time but here we instantly feel immersed and engulfed by this investigation into Ernie’s own task at hand.
On the flip side too, the present day sequences within the hospital pack their own very different type of connectivity with the audience, this time powerfully tugging at the heartstrings with some poignant interaction between the brilliant Warner and Leicester. While on the surface the relationship between the pair would be assumed one of business, the pair soon swiftly remind us of their huge emotional investment into one another and may even cause you to shed a tear. And rightfully so, with these two veterans still at the top of their game.
Blue Borsalino is simply scintillating filmmaking, using the short film structure to perfection and creating a wholly beautiful, immersive and emotional story that will stick in the mind for a long period after the closing credits. Mark Lobatto is one filmmaker we’ll be looking out for in the very near future.