Directed by: Mike Clarke
Written by: Paul McGowan
Genre: Thriller, Short
LOVE'S INNOCENCE LOST ( 2016 )
Sitting back in my seat I pondered what I would write of "Love's Innocence Lost", without giving away the story that became the film. Times like this can be trying, when considering the film clocks in at just around five minutes. Promise me a quick dark tale and I'm there with high hopes for a fast, thought provoking few minutes.
In the film, Damien Ashley and Abigail McKenize act out a scene straight from the nightmares of most parents, using dialog penned by Paul McGowan. It's hands down good writing, worthy of a much larger production.
The cast handle themselves admirably, adding much needed drama to what could have been a very dry scene. Let me be clear, the writing of the scene itself was great, but it's still a single location. Without some good performances, that one location could easily wear on a persons nerves. There were a few spots where I couldn't really hear Ashley's dialog, these audio instances were few however.
In it's entirety, things came across as true and believable. Right through until the last scene, which was a little bit rich in scoring, making it hard to really hear the police as they shackled their suspect. These "officers" then proceeded to leave the house, much to quickly to really be believable. Thankfully, this is during the end of the film, or many questions would be asked such as: Why didn't the cops talk to the husband? Even if he called them, there would still be questions. Up until this point everything is realistic and proper, adding to the drama.
While most of "Love's Innocence Lost" features some excellent cinematography, with a few "stand out" dolly shots, other compositions feel awkward and unusual. The excessive use of extreme close ups, focused mainly on Damien Ashley. With such tight shots, he was constantly out of frame or was simply to close for comfort. Although a minor irritant, I kept asking myself: Why so close, so much? Must have been something about the chair he was sitting in, because as McKenzie's character sat down we had the same issue. I'm all for tight shots such as these, to show some emotion, just not every shot.
The tricky part on writing this was knowing "Love's Innocence Lost" was a weekend project with no funding. If I were to write on that aspect alone, I would have rated this film much higher. Writing it as a viewer however, that doesn't know anything about the production, is the route I chose to take. Anyone happening across this title will either like it or they won't. Your average Joe doesn't care if it was done over a day, two days or a year! They also don't care if it was budget free, or had 50 million bucks behind it. They see only what's in front of their eyes for better or worse. I had to take the "weekend shoot" factor out of the equation, and so I did.
The dramatic aspects of this film, featuring very strong performances from the cast are what makes "Love's Innocence Lost" an easy title to watch. This is a powerful little piece of art! I have no doubt that if the same actors performed this same script, in an extended written format, with some real time spent on it, we would have a really good film. As a weekend project, it really is a stellar piece of work. For most viewers however, it is what it is. A curiously watchable few minutes that although better than your average no budget indie flick, is still an indie flick after all.