REVIEW: ‘Candice’ (2020) is a Look into Connection and Self-Reflection

Rating: 4 out of 5.

George Watson pulls brilliant performances out of the two lead actors.

During a meet-up for drinks with her friends, a crestfallen Candice (Olivia Poulet) is checked out of the gathering. After constantly checking her phone and keeping to herself, she abruptly leaves and walks home into the night. After leaving a livid voicemail to someone who is likely a cheating ex-boyfriend and a conversation with a store mannequin in which she complains that her friends couldn’t tell she was upset, Candice comes across a man who she assumes is following her, considering the late hour and his dishevelled clothing. Soon realizing that the man is her neighbour, Greg (Nicholas Pinnock), the two bond over their baggage and kebabs. 

Director George Watson pulls brilliant performances out of the two lead actors. Olivia Poulet’s Candice is a lovely woman in a lonely situation, taking out her pain on those around her. She feels guilt after realizing that Greg is her neighbour and not some maniac, profusely apologizing. Redeeming herself with an offer of a late-night dinner, Poulet and Pinnock’s chemistry shines between their characters. Nicholas Pinnock’s Greg is both charming and calming, speaking in a melodic and reassuring voice. The settings the characters find themselves in also adds to the intimacy. They are the only ones on the street at night and we only see their table at the kebab restaurant. 

The short is questioning why strangers are so quick to jump to their preconceived notions instead of taking the time to get to know each other. Extending the film’s runtime may have better driven this point home. Candice feels guilty for assuming Greg had nefarious purposes, but she’s also a woman walking home alone at night in London, a situation where one should be cautious. Candice also briefly touches on how race and class can contribute to these misperceptions of people, Greg, a black man, explains to Candice that they had met before, except he was in a suit and it was during the day. There’s not enough runtime to fully realize these topics, as the short quickly shifts to the diner scene where Greg and Candice discuss ex significant others.

Candice’s premise is quite simple, much of the short is largely just conversations between Candice and Greg, but it unveils the beauty of personal connection. It’s a commentary on how isolated people can be when they are surrounded by thousands. The relationship that quickly develops between Greg and Candice shows that beautiful things can happen if one would take the time to speak to a stranger. 

Dir: George Watson

Writ: Alexei Slater

Prod: Dom Riley, Alexei Slater, Steen Young, Nicholas Pinnock

Cast: Nicholas Pinnock, Olivia Poulet

Release Date: 26 November 2020

Available on: YouTube