Added: 8 years ago
A finely crafted thriller.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 7 years ago
Lowdown is a dark little film about love and its secrets. It fits a surprising amount of atmosphere and tension into one standalone three-minute film.
At first I thought this must be a clip from a feature film. It brought to mind some of the mind-fuckery that’s going on in David Mamet films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner… but in some ways that's an unfair comparison. Mamet’s camera coverage is terrible, while the director of Lowdown, Christian Grüner, is a considerable visual stylist.
After a title card that's almost illegible – it says "a story of pros and con games" – Grüner cuts right to the chase. We’re in a darkly lit dining room. Isabel and Steve are playing a game of cards with two friends. Isabel draws a card that says, "Did you ever have sex with your best friend's partner?" Before anyone can answer, a few subtle clues reveal the truth. The way Isabel figures it out is pretty impressive. It reveals how much forethought went into telling this story in a concise way.
What happens next is a little unbelievable. Isabel pulls out a gun, and tells Steve he has two options: Either he can do nothing, thus revealing himself as an adulterer; or he can play Russian roulette, thus proving his love. I'm not sure this makes perfect sense. By doing nothing, the only thing Steve would prove is that he doesn’t have a death wish. It doesn't prove he cheated on his wife. The point may be that she's suffering a bout of temporary insanity, and he agrees to her terms to "prove" his love.
At any rate, this is a finely crafted thriller. Slow dolly shots draw us into the scene. It's hard to have four people sitting around a table and make it look good. Lowdown does that and much more.