Damien Ashley, Abigail McKenzie
"Love's Innocence Lost" a One-Day Work of Wonder
When you review independent films, it's not exactly rare to hear those words "I made this film in one day."
In fact, it's rather common. Painfully common.
While I've passed the point where I'm able to review every film that crosses my desk, the truth is that I still try to review a good majority of them and I'd had the good fortune to review director Mike Clarke's work before. Fortunately, I took this little five-minute and one-day effort seriously because I was rewarded with an involving, compelling and emotionally resonant film that will likely have you thinking about it long after the closing credits have rolled.
Clarke had a free weekend from some feature projects he was working on, so he set out over the course of one January Saturday to knock out a small cinematic effort using up-and-coming British actors Abigail McKenzie and Damien Ashley as a couple who, when the film opens, are obviously in the midst of a life-changing incident. Clarke, along with screenwriter Paul McGowan, wisely never completely reveals the hand at play despite dropping enough hints that it seems inevitable that one's mind will wander in certain directions.
Still, one never completely knows.
In fact, we have to completely depend upon the performances of McKenzie and Ashley, whose dialogue is pointed yet rather sparse and whose pain is obvious. It seems equally as obvious that some type of crime has occurred, yet we are left mostly with its emotional aftermath rather than being tasked with dealing with its details. David Mordey's lensing is surprisingly pristine given the time constraints and nicely sets a ton of intimacy yet vulnerability.
Love's Innocence Lost is the kind of film that you almost wish would linger a bit longer, yet I'd be hard-pressed to name anything that I'd really do differently. Emotionally honest and thought-provoking, Love's Innocence Lost is a true one-day work of wonder that will linger in your psyche' for quite some time.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic