Just One Drink (2016)


Director Andrew De Burgh does a good job channeling the classic revenge pictures that focuses on what’s going around eventually coming back around again. What I find fascinating about “Just One Drink” is that there aren’t any clear protagonists or clean cut noble heroes. Director De Burgh doesn’t really side or empathize with any one character per se, except examines the almost destructive and chaotic path of vengeance that can steam roll through people’s lives.

“Just One Drink” is centered on two college students that are invited over Facebook to a New Years gathering by a beautiful young woman named Tamara. Played by the stunning Barbara Nedeljakova, Tamara is a seemingly casual and likable host who invites guests Peter and Derek in to her apartment to celebrate the new year. Before long they realize not everything is as it seems. Director De Burgh is very good at delivering the gut punch with a surprise twist that unfolds within a twist. Normally I am not too fond of films with multiple twists, but De Burgh doles them out with finesse and a slick narrative that kept me engrossed in the slowly unraveling events that ensued.

One caveat with “Just One Drink” is that it felt like it should have been so much longer, and could have stood for a lot more build up and exposition. The film seems built around the big climax, with the exposition of our two characters feeling somewhat random at times. That said, Andrew De Burgh shows a real knack for building suspense and keeping ambiguity a priority in unfolding his narrative. The performances really help “Just One Drink” packing some really great turns, including from Nedeljakova, who presents dimensions that she manages to convey in only eighteen minutes. I hope we can see more from Andrew De Burgh in the future as, if “Just One Drink” is any indication, he has potential to create a cinematic masterpiece.