Directed by: #LeahPatterson
Written by: #NorelleScott
The devastating consequences of kids with addiction and their parents gets explored in this affecting short film, directed by Leah Patterson from the play by Norelle Scott. Bridget and Iain is an emotive #drama that banks on wonderful filmmaking and two incredible central performances.
Vivienne Powell plays the titular Bridget, am exhausted mother whose adult son Iain (Damian Sommerlad) is in the throes of a reckless spiral with drug #addiction. Having been recently arrested and checking himself into rehab, Iain gets a visit from his mother and the pair’s relationship becomes a tug-of-war for blame and guilt.
The dynamics of parental guilt often provides storytellers with plenty of interesting avenues to explore in their movies. Whether the offspring are in immediate danger (see any number of movies, including the Home Alone franchise) or if the damage has already been done and we are witnessing the fallout (see any number of films dealing with divorce), the central theme remains a constant: will the parents be able to redeem themselves before a larger tragedy takes place? In short film Bridget and Iain, Scott and Patterson aim to approach the mother’s painful guilt in a different way: seeing if the character can come to terms with the absence of control or responsibility for her son’s destiny.
As mentioned, the two main performers are phenomenal. Powell’s, ironically, controlled portrayal of Bridget is breathtaking to watch. As her character journeys through the various demands on her emotions, the performer delivers a convincing and moving turn scene after scene. Sommerlad is also terrific as Iain, a character prone to blaming everyone but himself. The increasing desperation of Iain is splendid to watch, offering Sommerlad plenty of dramatic sequences and dialogue to chew on. His vitriolic outbursts towards Bridget are particularly effective.
From an aesthetic perspective, Patterson creates a believable and engulfing atmosphere for the audience to experience. The drab coldness of a rehab coffee room is brilliantly juxtaposed with the fuzzy warmth of a memory sequence. The sound design is also immersive, lending plenty of pathos and depth to the scenes without disjointing the viewer.
By exploring several notions of parenthood as well as drug addiction, Bridget and Iain feels slightly ambitious with the given running time. Viewers may certainly feel shortchanged with these two excellent characters, whom perhaps deserved more plot and development. That being said, what is offered is potent and well-crafted cinema that has two of the best performances of the year so far.
Watch the official Movie Trailer below.