Love in the Time of Quarantine short film review

★★★

Directed by: #GabrielCaste

Starring: #FionaBaqai and #JohnNiemiec

Short Film Review by: Shrubaboti Bose




From the perspective of the current quarantine situation, the film brings up an important question about love and trust. Social distancing has made it very difficult to sustain a healthy relationship through virtual or online means. Sometimes all we yearn for is the gentle touch of another human beside us. Even the silent warmth of a physical presence can give us much comfort in such times of crisis. When the protagonist loses the last thread of connection with the love of his life, anxiety grips him by the throat. He is extremely troubled by the thought of what might have happened to her. It’s the month of July and he feels left behind trapped in his room alone, sinking deeper into his own misery.

Love in the Time of Quarantine portrays the consequences of the absence of communication on the psychology of a person in a typical relationship, with special emphasis on the quarantine situation. While he tries to distract himself, to avoid thinking about why she hasn’t contacted him yet, he cannot escape the reality. He keeps himself busy, spending time to cut his nails, grooming himself, dressing up and even pretending to have a party all by himself, dancing to the music blaring from his speakers and smoking up. But the next morning, he is back in front of his computer, waiting for some sign from his missing partner.

The obvious conclusion that he reaches is that maybe she has left him, but it hurts to even consider it. The very fact that he uses the word ‘obvious’ in the dialogue, shows his conviction to find her ultimately safe and healthy. What makes it easier for him to accept the abrupt end of their relationship is the other possibility of her having fallen gravely ill. He would rather believe that she had essentially ghosted him than imagine she was so severely sick that it made her incapable of calling or talking to him. The director leaves this ambiguous as the scene shifts outside and focuses on the firecrackers exploding in the sky in celebration of the 4th of July.

One is left to wonder if the closing scene signifies a kind of parallel freedom from emotional attachments, the sense of independence drawn from the American context of the 4th of July itself. Perhaps the end is the new beginning or maybe it was purely incidental. Although the question of what was the depth of their relationship seems to rise and the justification behind what led the man to assume his partner has left him for good within a span of just four days had been slightly unconvincing, but the music plays a commendable role in heightening the tension during the climax period. It is also possible that the relationship itself was probably not the vital most aspect of the film even though the name seems to suggest that. Overall, the film captures the nuances of the isolation experience quite succinctly.