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Motel Room (2023)

-Written by Kyle Bain.


One night in a Motel Room, Sevag (Sebastian Rosero) is forced to meet with a prostitute. His father wants him to lose his virginity, and Megan (Tammy Kaitz) has been chosen for the job. Based on true events, Motel Room follows this young boy’s journey toward becoming a man. Though, the relationship that he eventually forges with this stranger isn’t at all what he anticipated it would be. 


A dark venture both literally and figuratively, Motel Room takes viewers on a journey that is well developed, cohesive, and effectively paced. Led by both Rosero and Kaitz (with Kaitz technically in the leading role), Motel Room pairs an unlikely duo, one that looks wonky on paper, but works beautifully for the film and its message. With the two characters being so different on paper, it allows viewers to see the world on a spectrum, and to better understand the world as a whole. The two actors feed off of one another throughout the course of Motel Room, and as the short film progresses their performances only strengthen. 


What Writer Sahag Gureghian and Director Bradford Lipson do so well is prepare viewers, ever so carefully, for the film’s big reveal. In just the opening seconds of the film, this duo has set the tone for what’s to come–but they do it subtly enough that some viewers may overlook the minor details at the film’s opening–and that’s okay. Those that want to look deeper will find a plethora of information and detail present in every second of Motel Room, but those that are waiting for the film’s big reveal, unwilling to look deeper, will still find pleasure in what Lipson and Gureghian present to them. Similar to the dynamic acting duo in Rosero and Kaitz, the narrative will allow for viewers from all walks of life to appreciate Motel Room, and will allow them to understand the film’s purpose on a number of levels. 


Motel Room ends with Megan exhaling, with her releasing this sigh of relief that she, maybe for the first time, has had real human connection, that she had a chance to be herself. It’s a touching conclusion to a hard-hitting film full of meaning. It’s a perfect ending, as it uses simplicity to effectively wrap everything up, careful not to overshadow the importance of the rest of the film. 


Lipson and Gureghian are brilliant in their development of Motel Room, leaving the film sort of open ended, open to interpretation just enough to keep viewers contemplating it after it’s ended. From the opening seconds of Motel Room, viewers get something dark, allowing us to understand, with clarity, the darkness that would exist throughout the rest of the film. With two spectacular actors leading the way, a well developed narrative, and symbolism oozing from every crevice of the production, Motel Room thrives from start to finish. You never really know what you’re going to get when you turn a film on for the first time, but I can guarantee you that when you turn on Motel Room, you will get something hard-hitting, emotionally relevant, and exceptionally entertaining.


Directed by Bradford Lipson. 


Written by Sahag Gureghian. 


Starring Tammy Kaitz, Sebastian Rosero, David Gianopoulos, etc. 


8.5/10 = WORTH RENTING OR BUYING


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