Paulina Image


By Alan Ng | May 14, 2020

It’s human nature to avoid conflict as best as you can. The awkward anxiety can be unbearable. If you disagree with me, then I was only kidding. There’s a concept known as co-dependence. When a friend or family member is heading down a dark path, the conflict-avoider will stick-up for or bail-out the addict believing this is the last time and knowing nothing’s gonna change.

“…we find out the extent of her father’s gambling addiction and that he owes a substantial amount of money…”

In Caylee So’s short film, Paulina, our titular character is a 17-year-old woman, who works at a donut shop by day, while at night drawn to a clandestine casino in the middle of a Cambodian neighborhood. It’s a small casino. How small? It’s run out of a typical 3br/2ba home. In the living room, customers play games of chance, including dice and out in the garage is a blackjack table.

As Paulina wanders the home, she buys a beer and fried banana as a snack from one of the house servers (probably the homeowner). She then visits her father in the garage as he’s stuck on a particularly problematic hand. Her father is showing a 16, and the dealer is showing a face card. Glancing around the table, Paulina makes a bold call and proves to be a skilled gambler herself.

Paulina (2012)

Directed and Written: Caylee So

Starring: Amy Pham, Johnathan Nhean , Drea Castro, Magul Ahmath, Amielynn Abellera, Javier Ronceros, Mathew Huon, Loeuren Dip, Tyson Pruong, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Paulina Image

"…a small casino. How small? It’s run out of a typical 3br/2ba home."

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