In the twenty-first century, dating apps seem to have taken over the social scene. In a society where people are far too busy to be able to take a moment to lookup from their phones in order to say hello, it’s all the easier to simply swipe left or right in the search for your perfect match.
In her short film, Cashpoint, writer-director Monique Needham takes a humorous look at a disastrous first date by a young woman new to the world of online dating.
The film opens with Camille (Ani Nelson) regaling the events of the night before to her sister Sabine as she walks through the streets of London. On her first ever Tinder date, Camille meets the delightful Craig (Kadeem Pearse), a gentleman who wants to know the “real” Camille, taking interest not in what she does for a living, but who she really is. Sparks seems to be flying until, at the end of their meal, things turn somewhat sour when the restaurant reveals they do not take card. Craig, ever the gent, runs to a cashpoint for payment, only to return empty-handed as the machine is out of order. Camille, somewhat begrudgingly, pays up, and the two leave to the sound of Craig’s profuse apologies. Camille, concerned that she hasn’t heard from her date, is ribbed by her sister that she has probably been ghosted. The conversation remains light until Camille stumbles across something that makes her realise that perhaps the date didn’t go quite as well as she had thought.
The acting is strong, with Nelson well-cast as our new-to-dating protagonist, and Pearse as the seemingly debonair Craig. Pearse cleverly manages to run the gamut of charming to somewhat suspicious with aplomb, and when the film reaches its inevitable reveal, one cannot help but give a chuckle at his ingenious scheme, although the point of it is somewhat confusing.
The production of Cashpoint is top-notch, with some really lovely camera work punctuating both the street scenes and the scenes at the restaurant, and the colour editing is expertly done. On a finickity note, however, one does have to question what kind of restaurant serves Echo Falls Summer Berries (£4 a bottle at Iceland…), but perhaps this is the height of haute hipster in modern day London.
For a first shot at directing, Needham has done a solid job with Cashpoint; it’s light, it’s fun, and overall, it’s well-made. Indeed, as a prologue to the mischievous adventures of Craig, it’s intriguing. Let’s hope there’s more to come.
Dir: Monique Needham
Scr: Monique Needham
Prd: Nana Opoku
Cast: Ani Nelson, Kadeem Pearse, Carly Lindon-Forrester, Sofia Barrinha
DOP: Bradley Stearn
Runtime: 9 minutes