I Meant to Tell You is a 20 minute short film by Central Valley, CA native and first time writer/director/star, Bavlina Youri.
The story follows an engaged couple who are ready to create a life together as one, cohesive unit. Unfortunately, Bayli (Youri) has a secret that she is keeping from her fiance, Lance (Emmanuel Beniamine), which will drive the lovers apart. As suffering in silence is sometimes easier than letting your loved ones share your pain.
“It’s a very bittersweet story of life’s new beginnings and how they can be altered by past fears. Both characters have had traumatic experiences in their past that they would never want to revisit, but just as the world turns, fear is seemingly on the same spinning totem,” says Youri.
Unfortunately, no matter how strong the subject matter, the language used is unrealistic in its setting. Youri was far too poetic in her word choices between Lance and Bayli before switching to modern colloquialisms when at a dinner party with friends Blue (Victor Almanzar) and Ivy (Whitney Zanardi). The heavy shift in conversation styles would work for either a French or Persian film, but not one made in English.
However, what Youri lacked as a writer on this project was immensely made up for with her cinematography. Her use of light, shadowing and selection of filters make I Meant to Tell You something worth sitting through, ESPECIALLY after you find out that the entire film was made on a budge of $5,000! Given a $150,000 budget and the right writing partner, Youri could easily turn this into a full length feature that will steal audiences hearts.
Youri will have a long career as a director if she continues to sharpen her skills. Her natural talent for visuals and creativity with a limited budget will go a long way in this industry and with that, she will be a director worth paying attention to in the next few years.
I Meant to Tell You
- Overall Score
Although her writing was a little sloppy her first time out, Bavlina Youri has a tremendous eye for direction and lighting. What I Meant to Tell You lacks in dialogue it makes for it leaps and bounds visually.