As Davide Melini's 5-minute thriller The Puzzle opens, a woman (Cachito Noguera) refuses to give money to her son (Alessandro Fornari) and instead attempts to wind down her night by completing a puzzle. As she works her way through the puzzle's pieces, she becomes increasingly aware that the puzzle is trying to tell her something.
Could it be too late?
Shot on an incredibly low budget of just 300 Euros, The Puzzle is an involving and well shot thriller featuring a terrific central performance by Noguera as the potentially ill-fated mother. Melini keeps the action simple here, a practical necessity with a film of just five minutes in length. However, Melini makes the most of his five minutes with suspense that is taut and suspenseful. Visioni Gotiche's original score heightens the film's dramatic moments, while Ezekiel Montes lenses the film with excellent use of shadows and dark spaces. While The Puzzle may not pass as a big budget flick, Melini and his crew accomplish great things on an an incredibly modest budget.
The Puzzle has proven to be wildly successful on the film festival circuit, including being named 3rd Best Italian film at the Rome International Film Festival. Melini, who has made four short films and worked as an assistant director in Italy (his last film was with Dario Argento), has created a short film here that is both stylishly appealing and emotionally satisfying.
Why just believe me? Check it out for yourself above and be sure to leave the filmmaker a comment on the film's Youtube page!