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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dot The I 

One Spanish woman with a temper, one boring Englishman, and one mysterious Brazilian with a camera.     What can happen?

When is a love triangle not merely what is seems?     When writer/director Matthew Parkhill brings you into his world in Dot The I.

We begin by meeting Carmen Colazzo (Natalia Verbeke, Jump Tomorrow) and get a peek into her chaotic life.    We then meet Barnaby Caspian (James D'Arcy, Exorcist: The Beginning, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) her somewhat timid knight in shining armor, who wants to save her from the world.     He proposes to Carmen and asks her to stay with him instead of going back to her home (where they allude to problems that might await her).

Even though Carmen and Barnaby have only been together for six months, she accepts his proposal and they begin planning for a wedding.     One night, Carmen and her friends go to a restaurant for her bachelorette or "hen-party."     At the same time, Kit Winter (Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, The Motorcycle Diaries), Tom (Tom Hardy, Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers) and Theo (Charlie Cox, The Merchant of Venice, Things to Do Before You're 30) also enter the restaurant, rounding out the peripheral fringe of this motley quintet.

Kit and his friends are told that there has been a mix-up in reservations but they can be seated at the other end of the table where the "hen-party" is taking place.     They agree, and Kit and Carmen are at opposite ends of a long, narrow table.     The maitre d then whispers to Carmen that there is a French custom that all soon-to-be brides must perform.     She must choose one man from the men in the restaurant and share a last kiss with him before she weds.

Carmen scans the restaurant several times, and then whispers to the maitre d, who walks to the other end of the table and tells Kit that Carmen has chosen him.     They meet in the middle of the restaurant and share a very passionate, and long, kiss.     All eyes are fixated on the couple, and as a waiter drops some silverware, Carmen is jarred back to reality and dashes out of the restaurant with Kit chasing after her.     But she is nowhere to be found.

Kit pursues Carmen throughout the movie, finding out where she works and showing up at places she will be.     Carmen struggles with the security she feels with her upcoming marriage to Barnaby, a man who offers wealth, security and a stable lifestyle, but no real passion, and also struggles with the sparks she felt when she kissed a total stranger.

But, if you think this is merely a case of a simple love triangle, you couldn't be more wrong.     Matthew Parkhill took the term "plot-twist" to a whole different dimension when he wrote this movie.     And he peels it away for you, layer by layer, as if he's peeling an onion.    If you enjoy a little of the unexpected to keep you guessing, this is a nice rainy afternoon movie to curl up and watch.

* IMDb links to actors, director/writer and movie credits

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