Joggers is used with permission from Ajitpal Babbra. Learn more at https://ajitpalbabbra.com.
Mark is on his way to work one day when he notices an attractive woman jogging. They exchange friendly glances as they pass one another, so Mark contrives to run into her again on her run, hoping to make a romantic connection. He runs her route behind her, taking care not to approach right away.
But after a few days, they finally connect, and when he invites her inside his apartment for a shake, she accepts. Seems like a promising start to something, but then when two police detectives show up on his doorstep the next day asking about her, he finds himself in the middle of a deeper mystery.
Directed and written by Ajitpal Babbra, this deliciously deceptive short drama-mystery begins in many ways like a contemporary modern romance, with attractive characters, well-appointed neighborhoods and prosperous homes. We meet Mark at his most powerful, wearing a suit coming to or from work and feeling confident about his place in life. When he spots a beautiful woman jogging — and she returns his look of intrigue and attraction — audiences, like Mark, are hooked on the possibility of something more happening. Something more does happen in the course of the film, but it’s not in the way that Mark expects.
The deft storytelling takes time to set up Mark’s careful efforts to meet Anna, from carefully observing her movements and schedule to jogging her route with her without talking. Then, when they finally talk, thanks to a casual ruse, and Mark invites her over, it charts each beat of their interaction, playing both the tentativeness and latent attraction between them. The smart, attentive writing and directing deftly build suspense, and we wonder just what it will all lead to in terms of romance and connection. Actor Lauren Saliu as Anna is attractive and appealing, and equal parts bemused, guileless and intriguing when Mark finally meets her. She’s holding back, but she’s also clearly interested.
As Mark, actor Sam Lockwood imbues his character with confidence, though hints of a self-satisfied arrogance peek out at times. He’s cocksure and focused on his efforts to land Anna, but being slightly full of himself will come back to haunt him in unexpected ways. Mark clearly has an eye for the ladies, but part of the subversive twist in the compellingly intriguing "Joggers" is how such an eye can blind someone to paying more attention to the world and people around them.
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A young man sees a attractive girl jogging on his street, then plans to ‘run into her’. | Joggers
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