Directed by: Danny Gibbons Written by: Danny Gibbons
Starring: Sophie Jones and Ric Renton Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Gas lighting is utterly lame, take it from me, I was gas lighted by a guy I dated for years, a nice combination of emotional and physical abuse was my day to day, but out of everything he put me through, gas lighting was the worse [and no it does not involve any kind of gas lamps, disappointing I know].
Now if you don’t know what gas lighting is then well done you for having healthy and well developed relationships, but go Google it now because education is key, and for those of you who do or have experienced it you know it’s a very isolating and traumatising experience.
Danny Gibbons writes and directs his short film Mark’d, the study of a young woman who is the victim of gas lighting at its finest, she is under the control of a passively aggressive man who is undermining his lady friend at every given opportunity....what a catch he is.
We open with her getting ready for a date, making the effort to look good for her man, it seems like an innocent relationship until we meet the piece of garbage she thinks she loves.
Tension is built instantly by isolating the couple within the shot, when the waiter comes we don’t see his face, we don’t see anyone else in the restaurant, you are trapped in his gaze, the awkward exchanges, giving for full submersion into their unpleasant and unhealthy relationship.
Ric Renton who plays the boyfriend does a sterling job of embodying the passive yet dominate stance that comes with gas lighting someone, and as a person who has lived through that rubbish he really drove home the role, displaying all the mannerisms and tricks that had been played on me in the past, even viewers who have not been victims of gas lighting can feel the hostility radiating off him through the screen.
Gibbons brings the inevitable violence into the picture in a subtle yet effective manner, using the technique that the less we see the better, the idea of our leading man’s aggression is enough to strike the audience, as we sit, like her knowing with every moment that he becomes more angry, the more of a repercussion she is going to face.
Mark’d is a moving piece of cinema, and even for those who have never dealt with or know someone who has dealt with the subject matter are still going to feel the full emotional effect that this short film has to offer, with excellent acting and a professional and slick appearance this short is certainly not one to miss.