Directed by: Catherine Delaloye
Written by: #CatherineDelaloye
Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) is not just a classic punk song from The Buzzcocks but also the central ingredient for many a storyteller. In short film Cyanide Love, from #filmmaker Catherine Delaloye, the combination of a poisonous new relationship and rock n’ roll is a match made in hell for the central character.
Jordan Monaghan plays Marilyn, a starry-eyed fangirl at the beginning of the movie who meets her musical idol Nathan (Cameron Moir) after a rock show where he played on stage with his band. Allowing herself to fall into an oblivion of fantasy, Marilyn struggles to find the reality of her situation as her life spirals in unpredictable and chaotic directions.
An immersive visual landscape of moody scenes and sexualised sequences make Cyanide Love instantly engaging. This is coupled with a thundering sound design from composer Daniele Panza, which evokes the electric energy brimming from the central character as she embarks on her dangerous journey of self delusion. Overall, the intense and dizzying atmosphere that Delaloye curates is splendid.
The performances are a mixed bag with Monaghan delivering a knockout turn in the lead role. She offers subtle and conspicuous aspects to her character's behaviour which are wonderful to watch. The supporting male characters are less so, with clunky dialogue and unconvincing scenes. This may support the movie's ambition to explore the world inside Marilyn's head but makes for some uncomfortable moments for the audience.
Marilyn’s obsession with her new romance explores some interesting topics, such as identity in relationships and the role of imagination in love. Taking, at first, an optimistic approach, Cyanide Love delves into introspection by focusing in the majority on her enthusiasm for Nathan and the possibilities it could open up. This is best reflected in the bathtub scenes where her face and hands are the only body parts visible amongst a sea of white silky water. This “innocence” is then brilliantly utilised later when the storyline develops.
With plenty of room for improvement, short film Cyanide Love from Catherine Delaloye is still an impressive and imaginative movie that ventures into the dark corners of our private fantasies. The plot and character development could have been tidier and included better supporting performances. However, the short’s powerful mise en scéne and score are gripping throughout and viewers will find Monaghan’s terrific portrayal deeply affecting.
Watch the official movie trailer below.