Jul 6, 2023
Matt Rolls, Laura Masters, Rakesh Jhalli, Laura Yates
A man endures being emotionally and physically tormented by his partner.
Inspired by real events, this tense psychological thriller places the viewer in the shoes of Sam (Rolls). Sam has unwillingly become a father and is now living with his toddler son and partner Morgan (Masters). Morgan has revealed herself to be a controlling and aggressive person and has turned Sam's life into misery, repeatedly torturing him and mentally destroying him. Sam suffers and suffers and seems to be unable to resist or reach out for help.
Domestic violence is the main theme in this short and it pulls no punches when it depicts the terrible verbal and physical abuse that Morgan applies on Sam. She hits him with a hairbrush, pours boiling water on him, slashes him with a knife among other things and viewing all this is quite distressing and even unbearable at times. Her reasons for her vile actions involve Sam doing things that she disapproves of, such as locking doors or lying to her.
The film has a nonlinear narrative and it begins with Morgan informing Sam that she is pregnant and shows them having a decent life together, raising a child. However, it is not long before Morgan's dark side is brought to light and the abuse begins, with her physically assaulting him either at home or in the car and harshly questioning him and shouting at him. The abuse scenes are very dramatic and Sam's suffering is unspeakable.
Morgan is basically ultimate evil, she is a controlling, violent, bad-tempered, manipulative and sadistic individual, who has turned her partner into a prisoner inside a hellhole. She appears to have anger management and mental health issues, such as split personality and Masters' performance is outstanding. Sam is her victim. A young man, who seems to be vulnerable, who became a father against his wishes and ended up in his current situation. He is rather thin and is terrified of Morgan, who has him under her control, making him wait in the car as she attends university and not allowing him to do things without her approval. Rolls is terrific in playing a man who has become little more than an object to be brutalised.
The filmmakers make effective use of out-of-focus sequences and slow motion, which look even better thanks to amazing cinematography. In regard to the audio, there are creative sound techniques and the dramatic score makes the scenes even more powerful.
An interesting thing about this film is that the perpetrator of the abusive relationship is a woman, which is uncommon in cinema and by doing so, it points out that the abuser can be either male or female.
This is an important film for two reasons. One is because it raises awareness of domestic violence and the second is the brutally harsh and realistic way that it portrays the nightmarish world of an abusive relationship, which is filled with dread, violence, misery and suffering. Watching it is a rather unpleasant experience and one that is likely to remain with the viewer for a long time.