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Left Behind

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

24 Apr 2022

Film Reviews
Left Behind
Directed by:
Matthew R. Ford
Written by:
Matthew R. Ford
Starring:
Savannah Gallo, Grace Farrell
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Two young women discuss the abuse they both suffered at the hands of the same man.

 

Kat (Gallo) is being visited by her friend Melissa (Farrell) at her home. Both have gone through terrible times after having a relationship with a violent and controlling man. Initially, that man was Cat's partner and he then moved on to Melissa. Kat openly talks about the torturous moments she went through while being with that vile individual and Melissa accuses her of allowing him to do the same to her by not warning her about the kind of person that he was.

 

This short is quite an emotional roller-coaster. The dramatic screenplay strikingly explores the nightmare both women went through and reveals that they are deeply traumatised by their experiences. The plot also focuses on themes regarding domestic abuse, guilt and forgiveness. The atmosphere is rather sad and distressing throughout and listening to the inhuman things that man did to the two of them is heartbreaking. Things become a bit brighter when one describes happy memories involving a cabin in the countryside, although that does not last long. Generally, this story explores the aftermath of an evil man's actions, which includes emotional wounds that will never heal. And the plot twist makes things even more devastating.

 

Both Gallo and Farrell deliver very powerful and emotional performances. They are quite convincing as victims of domestic abuse who have been scarred by their ordeals and they vividly express their emotions.

 

The entire story takes place inside Kat's living room, and it is a rather unappealing site. The window blinds are down, there is an empty alcohol bottle, picture frames are overturned and one frame is on the floor, smashed into pieces. The state of this room reflects the kind of negative emotions that she is going through.

 

The music includes beautiful piano and the score also becomes tense and sinister. The film opens with the song Behind the Wall by Tracy Chapman, sung wonderfully by Farrell, which is about police not doing enough to prevent domestic violence and it was a great choice as it refers to the film's subjects and helps set up an appropriate atmosphere.

 

As the director of photography, Daniel Alexander develops outstanding cinematography and Ford does a great job with the editing, making effective use of fast cutting techniques. There are some scenes that utilise very creative filmmaking methods, which involve a shot of a window with the blinds closed. During these shots, another shot of a flashback is superimposed over the window, in a way giving the viewers the impression that they are actually looking outside, through the window.

 

This short is not a pleasant viewing, however it is a powerful one and raises awareness of domestic violence. It focuses on the physical and mental scars that this kind of action causes and how it ruins people's lives.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film