Break My Fall Movie Review
The boyish Liza (Redstone) and the girly Sally (Anderson) live in a messy London flat, where they consume rather a lot of alcohol and drugs. Sally is working in a cafe, while Liza works on songs for their post-punk band. But Liza is also consumed with jealousy over Sally's ex, who lives in Germany. Convinced that Sally is being unfaithful, she starts sabotaging their relationship.
Meanwhile, Liza confides in her gay friend Jamie (Chace), while Sally gets an extremely awkward proposal from her friend Vin (Ly).
With her first feature, filmmaker Winchmann intriguingly avoids filling in the gaps. We are never sure what sparks this crisis in the relationship, and much of the angst goes unspoken. But the fallout is obvious from the start: these women will need to work if they want to stay together. What follows is a full-on picture of human miscommunication, which isn't helped at all by the fact that they're rarely sober, don't get enough sleep and have friends who are deeply self-involved. But then, really, isn't everyone?
The film has a dark, edgy attitude from the start, accompanied by an achingly trendy song score. Dialog is delivered in mumbly, whispery bursts, which adds to the slacker vibe, as do the cluttered sets, which are lit with askance angles that create deep colours. And Dawid Pietkiewicz's 16mm cinematography has a lovely exploratory quality to it. All of this cleverly overcomes the low budget, although the skittish approach makes it feel a bit like an over-extended short.
As it continues, we are forced to put ourselves into the story and characters, simply in order to try and understand what's happening. We aren't quite sure what's wrong between them, but neither are they. So we get involved in their struggle, and feel the emotional kicks as they bounce from love to hate and back again. That said, there are moments when we just wish they would talk to each other. And that people would stop vomiting on screen.