A crime has been committed, but it’s the waiting game that’s the real killer in Antony Berrios’ short film, Tumble. Sam (Charlie Santore), a professional bank robber, is outside of a laundromat with a bag of stolen cash. He sits nervously in his truck, calling his crew over the radio, but no one answers him back.
Soon, Sam heads inside, and while he’s hiding the cash in one of the dryers, he’s approached by his ex-girlfriend, Britt (Marie Urquidi). Sam pretends not to know her and politely tells her to f**k off. However, Britt is insistent that Sam needs to acknowledge her. The commotion grabs the attention of Alice (Tatiana Cardenas), who works behind at the laundromat and is just hearing the news of the bank robbery.
“…Sam…[calls] his crew over the radio, but no one answers him back.”
I appreciate short stories that follow the principle of “show, don’t tell.” In the case of Tumble, I think it could have shown more to lock us into Sam’s plight better. When any film begins, there is a level of disorientation that occurs in audiences. Our heads spin a little, and it takes time to lock into what’s happening. There’s a level at which the audience’s cognitive dissonance has to be managed. Don’t make your audience work too hard to piece things together. And given its brief runtime, that waiting hurts the production a bit.
Once the story clicks in, it’s smooth sailing. The film feels like a small moment of a much larger story of a criminal on his last job. Berrios captures that quiet moment between an intense bank robbery and the inevitable manhunt by the police. Tumble is shot in black and white, and the filmmaker uses the medium effectively, creating mystery with the deep dark shadows and contrasts to heighten the drama. Overall, Berrios does a good job making me want to know more about Sam’s story.
"…captures that quiet moment..."