The Killing Of Two Lovers
Starring Clayne Crawford ,Sepideh Moafi ,Chris Coy ,Avery Pizzuto ,Bruce Graham
Written & Directed by Robert Machoian
This powerful sparse unsparing marital drama unfolds in a small community of God-fearing hard-working American folks . This is a town where everyone knows everyone and where our hero walks his kids to school telling them PJs(parental jokes) in the middle of the road since there are no pavements separating streets from homes.
Some such lack of borders makes David(Clayne Crawford) cling to the hope that his wife will come back to him, that the kids will again have a Mom and Dad, and Mom’s new boyfriend would just vanish?
Am I giving the impression that this is a quaint film filled with social graces about a man desperate to get back his family? Yes and no. David does desire a reunion with his wife more than anything in the world. But the manner in which David, and the film, approach this anxious aspiration is violent and ugly, sometimes bordering on obsessive behavior that goes completely against the impression we have of the town where the most violent occurrence would probably be a community screening of The Lion King.
As played by Clayne Crawford, David is a man on the edge desperate to keep his family together. He is nervous, jittery but trying to keep calm as he speaks normally with his father and his kids .Crawford gives a performance where one can see right inside his mind and heart. He hides nothing from the camera. He has nothing to lose except his family.
The film divides David’s disturbing paranoia about his world falling apart in different segments where we see him interacting with his wife Niki(Sepideh Moafi), his father(Bruce Graham), his three children of which the two boys are too young to understand which their parents’ marriage is going. But David’s daughter Jesse(Avery Pizzuto) knows. She understands, And she cannot bear what is happening to her parents’ marriage.
“Dad, Mom is cheating on you,” Jesse blurts out the secret that David already knows. In the opening sequence we see him standing above his sleeping wife and her boyfriend with a gun. There is a wealth of pent-up violence in the film. In a stunning sequence where David confronts his wife’s lover(Chris Coy) we don’t see what’s coming.Even life’s vagaries can sometimes go into a lane that mocks all human relationships.
That unpredictability of life is what The Killing Of Two Lovers captures with a brutality and force that leave us breathless at times. Sometimes we just feel life rolling by quietly . There is a lengthy sequence where David drives his three children for an afternoon out with Daddy. It doesn’t go the way it’s planned.That’s life. This film knows better than most that you can’t bring a dead relationship back to life for the sake of the children. Or can you?
Take a look at this film. You will come away a different person. I am not saying better, just different. The same goes for the film.It may not be better than what Ingmar Bergman makes of a marriage. But it is different.