Killing Of Two Lovers Kills It

The Killing Of Two Lovers

Starring Clayne Crawford ,Sepideh Moafi ,Chris Coy ,Avery Pizzuto ,Bruce Graham

Written  & Directed  by  Robert Machoian

Rating: ***

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.