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The Couple short film review

★★★

Directed by: Elin-Margareta Nordin

Written by: Elin-Margareta Nordin

Starring: Anna-Maria Wiktorsson, John Chambers, Victor Nascimento

 
Poster for The Couple showing protagonists.
Poster for The Couple

A couple meet a violent ending while going for a walk in the woods.


The film begins with the couple, which consists of a young woman (Wiktorsson) and a young man (Chambers), sitting at a table in their home, having a drink. They decide to go for a walk in the forest. Things seem normal until a madman appears (Nascimento), who beats them both to death with a brick.


This short thriller has a nonlinear narrative. It basically consists of two stories and both are identical: the couple are at home, then in the forest, then get attacked. These events are shown twice. Both times, after they have been killed, the camera spins around 360 degrees repeatedly and then the film cuts back to the couple sitting at the table and the same story restarts. The spinning camera could represent the fact time is going back, like going through a black hole.


The film focuses a great deal on the concept of time, by cutting back in time and by repeatedly showing a closeup of a clock on the couple's table, whose hands always show 9:30. The clock could symbolize how significant time is in life and by showing the same events again, the film might be sending the message that what's done is done because time only moves forward and there is nothing that can be done to change the couple's fate.


The plot begins with innocence and normality, showing the life of a happy couple, then of course the atmosphere changes completely with the appearance of the deranged lunatic. The killings are rather distressing to watch and the audience is filled with dread when they realise they have to go through it again.


Wiktorsson and Chambers are convincing as two individuals who are in a happy relationship, however Nascimento is arguably the one who steals the show as a dangerous, murderous man. He plays the part quite realistically, with awkward movements and crying out maniacally as he strikes his victims. His character is the most intriguing feature in this film.


He film utilizes black-and-white cinematography, which gives it a dark feeling. The camera is handheld and there is no music. The fact that exactly the same shots are used over and over is a bit uncreative. The stylized closing credits are interesting and creative.


This is a dark, violent horror story, with a narrative structure that resembles Run Lola Run (1998) and Source Code (2011). It makes the viewer watch a story twice, with exactly the same events, the same shots, in the same order and this process may not be very captivating. Nevertheless, this is an achievement that is worth looking into.

 



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