Cardio (2020) is a short film that says nothing. The following description includes spoilers from beginning to end:
As two friends are talking over the phone, one mentions that he’s celebrating his birthday. As soon as he hangs up, a person wearing a black hoodie with a black mask starts stalking the birthday boy. The lights go out and later are back on, and then we see the hooded person sitting joyously on a desk. The light goes back out and comes back in seconds, but now we see two hooded persons going after the birthday boy. In the end, the birthday boy escapes with his heart almost beating out of his chest. In the final scenes, we see the birthday boy entering a room where three people are carrying a cake and singing happy birthday, while the two hooded persons also enter the room while removing the masks revealing themselves as friends of the birthday boy.
As the short starts, it shows us a mix of cut scenes that seem more of a transition video than part of the plot. On top of those scenes, we see a smiley face spinning on the screen while going from happy to sad as the dialogue keeps developing. It may be an artistic expression of several emotions to be displayed during the development of the short, but it relies mostly on what the two friends are mentioning during their conversation. It even tends to go from serious to childish, at times. After that, we can finally see the main character doing all of the actions mentioned above without showing any type of emotion during the persecution.
Cardio tries too hard running around with ideas that in the end bring no satisfaction. If we go by the definition of the word, this cardio doesn’t release endorphins to make you feel good about the thrill; this cardio doesn’t leave you wanting more.