The Night Is Young

By Oliver Mork | Drama
A shy young man views women as objects to hook up at a nightclub.

Adam and Erik have decided to go out, arriving at the Venus nightclub in their city for the evening. Adam is confident, but Erik is much shyer. Adam advises Erik to view women as mere hookups to make the process easier, saying it's just a game.

Inside, Erik feels awkward, even as Adam easily dances and mingles with women on the dancefloor. But then he notices a mysterious quiet woman sitting at the bar and strikes up a conversation. Things seem to be going well... until they don't. And Erik's night veers off wildly into uncharted territory.

Written and directed by Oliver Mork, it's not easy to categorize this short film. It begins with the compelling character contrast of a drama, slowly pulling the audience with deft writing and performances into a young man's quest to meet a woman for the night. Then it takes a dark turn towards suspense, before vaulting into an unpredictable direction that could be categorized as fantasy, or perhaps the heavily allegorical.

But through it all, the film is consistently great storytelling, with excellent writing laying down a foundation of solid character and lurid, moody cinematography creating an atmosphere throughout that's both sexy and sinister. There's a palpable sense of an underworld imbued throughout the narrative, as if Erik has crossed over into a place where anything can happen.

Within this world, Adam and Erik are two very different men. Actors Filip Slotte as Adam and Victor Poturaj (and later, Julia Heveus) as Erik play the pair of friends as a study in contrasts. Adam is more extraverted, confident but crass when it comes to his attitude towards women, and while Erik is shyer, he envies his friend's success with hooking up.

But as Erik makes his connection with an alluring mysterious woman (beautifully played by actor Laura Majid), he slowly grows in confidence, and the lines between his and Adam's approach start to blur. And so does the film's lines between genres, which takes Erik to an unpredictable place -- one that illuminates the emptiness at the center of Adam's view of sex, dating and romance.

There's a twist in the final third of "The Night Is Young," one that shifts the film into deeper thematic territory. Yet the outlandishness of the plot development is handled with a straightforwardness that allows the storytelling to approach its issues with a fresh eye. Erik may be flailing, but it also immerses them in the loneliness of being seen as "just a hole," as Adam says earlier in the film. It exposes the moral bankruptcy and emotional emptiness that ultimately sits at the core of objectification, leaving those subject to it alone in a harsh, hostile world.

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