Calambre! sees modestly successful poet Ralphy Calambre (Amaury Renaso) come home to his old stomping grounds in New York City. However, his return disrupts the lives of his best friend Wally (Danny Borbon), as well as his former flame Tiffany (Ana Roshelle Diaz). Attempts to catch up and make amends are initially scoffed at.
However, a chance encounter with Julia (Mariana Quinn-Makwaia), a bookstore employee, as well as a flirtatious relationship with bar owner Silvia (also played by Ana Roshelle Diaz) keeps Ralphy occupied. However, he is never entirely engaged, often seeming like he is looking for something lost. But even Ralphy does not know what that something might be.
“… modestly successful poet Ralphy Calambre comes home…Attempts to catch up and make amends are initially scoffed at.”
Written and directed by Carlos Renaso, Calambre! runs just under an hour in length. Even within such a brief runtime, there is one thing that feels repetitive. There are one too many text messages to Tiffany for me. While out with friends, or just walking by his lonesome, Ralphy will look at these messages to her, as Diaz does a voice-over of what the text says. The first time this happens, it works really well. But after that, it began feeling like a crutch used when Renaso wasn’t sure how to segue to the next episodic scene.
Happily, that is my only issue with the otherwise affecting and agreeable flick. Renaso’s directorial style reminds me of Kevin Smith’s point-and-shoot method; which says that you ensure the frame is in focus and centered than film. Much like with most of Smith’s filmography, that is not a bad thing unto itself. If the dialogue is good enough, the simple camera setups won’t be an issue.
"…the dialogue is natural and flows in a familiar way…"