Apples, Oranges, Lemons & Limes (2022) Review
It’s A Mantra
Apples, Oranges, Lemons & Limes is the latest not so short, short movie from writer and director Pat Mitchell and is very much rooted in the great anxiety epidemic we seem to be in.
In AOLL we meet Henry, Hen to his friends, played by Calvin Waldau (“Todd”, “Falling Apart (Short)”), who is at a party with his best friend Ryan, Juan Rodriguez Leon (“The Document: On the Run”).
We learn that Hen doesn’t get out much, but don’t learn why until later, and he is a tad reluctant to get involved in the games that are going on, in fact, we join him as he’s splashing water on his face in the bathroom repeating, “apples, oranges, lemons and limes” to himself.
Once out of the bathroom though, and with beer thrust firmly in hand from Ryan, Hen joins the others as they play a drinking game. Now suitably more drunk than previously, he is pushed to go and chat with Natalie, Skye Marie Sena, a woman he had a crush on in middle school.
As if Hen’s anxiety wasn’t already high, it rises even more now. You see, despite him having a crush on Natalie in middle school, he never actually did anything about it, didn’t even speak to her, so she barely remembers him.
Anyhow, he musters the courage and begins chatting with her. It transpires she’s not having a great night after her date split with another woman and left her at this party where, she claims, she doesn’t know anyone.
That doesn’t quite add up later when she says she had a crush on Ryan, even asking him to the prom, but hadn’t noticed him at the party, where there’s only a handful of people.
Anyway, after a shaky start, Hen and Natalie get on, sort of, and rejoin Ryan and his girlfriend for more drinks and drunken chat before Hen offers to walk Natalie home.
It’s on this journey, and the conversation that takes place between the two, that we learn more about both of them. Why didn’t they speak to each other at school? What was life like for Natalie who we learn was the popular kid? Was it all roses as people expect? And what’s with the AOLL chanting from Hen?
I started AOLL with the intention of getting an idea of the run-time and when I may be able to get around to watching it, but ended up watching the whole thing. This was, largely, down to some nice directorial flourishes from Mitchell, particularly at the beginning.
The drinking game the gang are playing gives Mitchell a chance for some interesting shot choices that enhance the work, whilst throughout there’s a play with light and shadow, across faces and places, that was probably down to budget in some instances but work well.
I will say that, at 45 minutes, it feels a touch long but obviously not long enough for a feature but there were only a few instances where you noticed the time playing a part. Overall AOLL is a nicely directed short/medium movie that shows plenty of directorial promise.
Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com.