Driving through the desert night Sebastian (Chris Kattan) stops for a beautiful hitchhiker named Helena (Justine Wachsberger) and mysteries pile up as Sebastian puzzles over his great unlikely fortune at encountering this enchanting stranger. It’s clear from the outset that this is not going to be an ordinary night in Sebastian’s life.
“There’s something hypnotic and compelling about a lonely road illuminated only by headlights.”
Atmospheric short The Passenger by French director Michaël Nakache is pretty much entirely a spoiler so there’s little more that can be said about the plot. It is worth the 20 minutes runtime on YouTube to enjoy the performances of Chris Kattan and Justine Wachsberger along with the quality cinematography and ambition of Nakache. There’s something hypnotic and compelling about a lonely road illuminated only by headlights.
I don’t recall ever seeing Chris Kattan and thinking “Oh, that’s good, I’m enjoying this performance” and I’ll never forgive his ass for Corky Romano. However, Kattan is great in this sympathetic and persuasive moment on film.
Justine Wachsberger doesn’t have much material or time to work with but she expresses frustration and compassion delightfully in her role as a “social worker.” She is your passenger.
The Passenger (2017). Directed By Michaël Nakache. Written By Michaël Nakache and David Courtil. Starring Chris Kattan, Justine Wachsberger.
6 out of 10