4th December 2020 Written by Peter Walkden
A young woman named Emi visits her local laundromat, and while digging for change for the machine, she meets a man named Chris. The two strike up a conversation and discover they have some things in common. Chris invites Emi to join him at a party that he is hosting at his inner-city Melbourne apartment. On the same evening, Chris claims that many of his friends will also be there. While Emi is taken by surprise, she accepts the invitation.
As Emi arrives at the party, she notices there are a few people having drinks and general discussions, as many of the guests are not familiar with each other. But as Emi begins to talk to Chris’s friends, she discovers that there’s more than meets the eye at this party. General topics and discussions are had, and reveals are made through the night. The guests are also surprised to find Chris himself has yet to show up for his own party. But the most commonly asked question is, “How Do You Know Chris?” And interestingly enough, the answers are quite surprising and then become even more impressive when Chris finally makes an entrance.
The film’s setup here is fairly positive. While the film is certainly more classed as a drama, I couldn’t help but enjoy the mystery that was present here too. I consistently questioned myself as to why a man would host a party and not even show up for it. Naturally, this, among other questions, held my attention for the full duration as I was determined to know the outcomes. Performances are also solid here, particularly from the side characters who interact with Emi and reveal their connection to Chris as well as dark elements from the past.
Visually this film was beautiful to see. Everything is nice to look at and clear. The film’s audio track was also tremendous, and vocals during discussions between characters were always easy to hear. The film is also creative and uses fun party music in the background, which helped the film’s atmosphere and yet never felt out of place or distracted from the primary focus.
The discussions that are had are quite unpredictable. Still, I will confess that while the film’s finale is powerful and engaging, it was incredibly predictable. I was relatively confident regarding how this film would end just from watching the first act. This was a disappointment. I would have preferred an ending that took me by surprise or left me feeling shocked. Some actions and motives from critical main characters are also somewhat questionable as some elements are never fully explained but are more so up to the viewer to interpret.
Overall, this film is quite a pleasing drama with an added element of mystery. Guests arriving at a party without its host certainly had my curiosity. Performances are quite enjoyable; the film’s visuals are also great, along with the audio track. Unfortunately, some character decisions, along with the predictable ending, held this film back. Either way, it’s a great concept, and the fact the filmmakers are tackling topics that are relevant in today’s world also earns my respect.
How Do You Know Chris? (2020) is Available on Stan from June 24th!