Dan is gay, but still in the closet, furtively going to a cruising area at a park under a bridge to confront his secrets.
But then he meets a younger and more confident man named Paul in a tantalizing moment — and when he returns to his car to a note that seems to promise more, something opens up inside of him, if only just a bit.
But when he returns to the bridge the next day to find Paul, he’s confronted with an encounter that makes him realize his fears are much closer to home than he imagined.
Director Bonnie Moir and writer Benjamin Rigby conjure up a powerfully compelling story about a man essentially at cross-purposes with himself. Weighed down with secrets and desperate to both deny and express himself, Dan is a tightly coiled character, captured with deft handheld camerawork that captures the smallest subtleties of behavior.
Actors Benjamin Rigby and Nicholas Denton as Dan and Paul, respectively, are both vivid and nuanced, making the most of the economical run time with emotionally precise performances.
Dan grapples with each flicker of doubt, hope, desire and fear, managing contradictory wants and needs at every moment, and when he hits the emotional climax of the film, the ripple of revelation within him is both fleet but heartwrenching.
Quiet, spare and precise, “Bridge” is a sensitive, powerful portrait of longing. All humans long to be seen and heard fully, but this short drama illuminates the struggle that some go through to be themselves fully — sometimes to quietly devastating effect.