In Laurence Roberts’ short film Fool’s Game, a group of university friends gather together for a game of “chess.” It’s a simple dinner party at Peter’s (Jordan Duarte) and Ava’s (Lora Burke) home with their friend, Matt (Fuad Ahmed), and his new girlfriend, Sam (Angela Bell). Enamored by Ava’s casually elegant appearance, his advances are rebuffed by Ava’s need to make the night perfect.
When Matt and Sam arrive, the night is cordial with idle chit-chat and not helped by Matt constantly texting on his phone. As the evening plays on, we cut to a chessboard, and with each beat of the night, the next move is made.
“…the night is cordial with idle chit-chat and not helped by Matt constantly texting on his phone.”
Fool’s Game is another example of telling a small fragment of a much bigger story. Director Roberts and writer/star Angela Bell craft together a typical dinner party into a story of intrigue and secrets. They play with subtext to lead us to the revelation of a big secret.
Short film is a great way for filmmakers to flex their storytelling muscle and focus on specific aspects of the medium, such as tone, cinematography, or atmosphere. With Fool’s Game, it’s all about establishing subtext, slowly revealing secrets over time, and then ending with a big crescendo at the end. And Fool’s Game does exactly that.
"…a great way for filmmakers to flex their storytelling muscle..."