Seemingly intent on emulating the renowned prolificacy of Woody Allen, Nathan Silver’s third film in as many years years (with number four beginning production in a few weeks) is another typically introspective low-key indie on a delusional romance between 30ish year old Robbie (impressive first-timer David Dahlbom) and 18 year old Nina (Something in the Air‘s India Menuez). Agreeing to fulfill necessary handyman tasks, Robbie’s allowed to stay in his aunt’s secluded half-way home for pregnant teenagers after he discovers his partner’s infidelity. The presence of this masculine and mysterious figure in such a hormonal and male-deprived setting catalyses an astute story on the framing of our often destructive decisions in love.
Silver tactfully pairs Nina and Robbie together as bruised souls similarly disconnected from the one’s they love who have found themselves in an unexpected and unsolicited phase of life – youthful pregnancy and the break-up of long term relationship. Grievously enabling one another more than their intention of a mutual rescue, the ambiguous dynamic of reciprocal manipulation adds a sympathetic texture to the fragility of the characters. Common sense is overpowered in this transitional period which inevitably should act as a bucket of iced water to awaken them to a clear perspective. Although the film concludes intriguingly much before that resolute mindset has been achieved for either, the water is certainly in mid-air after the rousing ending.
With potential for more of an ensemble piece to radiate the themes further, over 40 hours of footage was streamlined to result in some characters sadly rendered blurred background figures who you’d like to see more of, even if just in relation to the central story. Still – the wooded setting helps to highlight the quarantined reflective nature to this succinct piece of naturalism that’s far richer than its mere 75 minute running time suggests.
Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2014.