Break My Fall (2011) documents the last four days of a couple in their mid-twenties as they try to navigate through the indie-scene of East London where people wake up at night and taking drugs every few hours to get through the day is par for the course. As Liza’s (Kat Redstone) 25th birthday approaches her 4-year relationship with girlfriend Sally (Sophie Anderson) seems to unravel before the viewers eyes. The characters themselves, however, seem to be completely unaware that not only is their relationship crumbling around them but, really, the relationship ended long ago and they are really just clinging to memories of the past and a misguided hope for the future.
The insecure Liza and disaffected Sally are also in a band together, yet can barely manage a rehearsal due to their chaotic home life. This band opens up the introduction of their two closest friends; Vin (Kai Brandon Ly)-a hustler trying to woo Sally away from Liza-, and Jamie (Collin Clay Chace) -a barman who is trying to find the perfect man- with the two men being as oblivious about the dark undercurrent as the two girls.
Written, produced, and directed by first timer Kanchi Wichmann the film has a very ‘this is my first film’ feel to it. Edgy youths with asymmetric haircuts and cool clothes, music (Wichmann also has a history in music, and film-clip style montages are abound), un-focused images, relationship angst, hand-held camera work… you name it, this film has it. But it appears to work, largely due to the strong casting of Redstone and Anderson.
The film does lag in places, especially when dealing with elements outside of the central relationship, possibly due to the fact that the film was originally conceived to be a short. But Wichmann is able to pull your attention back to the lives of the protagonists, most notably with the scenes where she appears to interweave what feels to be memories with current events taking place in the lives of the two girls, leaving the viewer recognising that this bleak and doomed relationship was once something fertile and beautiful, and not something to be taken lightly.
Another screening of Break My Fall is on Thursday 22nd, 5.30pm at Greater Union.