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In ‘Compel’, Kev Watts combines a truthful story with a fair share of symbols, highlighting the climax of what turns out to be revenge for long lost love.

Michael (played by David Waterman) dries his car on a deserted road. At some point, he sees a woman hitchhiking. He pulls over and offers her a ride. Her name is Harper (played by Marissa Godinez, who plays an outstanding role, being at the same time the pawn and the queen). They start chatting and find out their paths crossed some time ago. Harper starts talking about a Rubik cube Michael has hanging from the rearview mirror. Her story begins with her mother, who loved solving puzzles, but committed suicide some time ago. She then pulls out a gun and points it at Michael. He has no clues why this is happening to him, but Harper tells him the whole story. He is in shock but manages to stop the car. Harpers asks Michael to get out of the car; she is angry, and nothing can stop her from doing what she thinks is the right thing.

One thing we loved about this short is how well director Kev Watts managed to include puzzles in the story. When Harper tells Michael the story of her mother, she mentions that she was patient. This patience reminded us of the game of chess, where you have to wait for your opponent to make the wrong move to win big. Harper put herself in the middle of the road like a pawn. She was the bait Michael never expected. When he bit the bait, the consequences came crumbling from behind. Another symbol that indicates the importance of puzzling situations in ‘Compel’ is the presence of the Rubik cube. The film is shot in black and white, but the only coloured element is the Rubik cube hanging from the rearview mirror. This is not random, as the cube always holds the answer if you are patient enough to roll and match the colours.

A meaningful, unforgettable short film that you must watch!

Written by Vlad A. G