An unofficial but commonly agreed upon measure of how good a film is, is if it stays with you after the credits. Do you think about the characters, the story, a particular image? In some instances, you’ll tell people you know because it’s on your mind and you want to discuss it with someone. Even more so if there’s a lot of questions to ask or ideas to mull over.
Love/Me/Do is a perfect example of this kind of experience. Antonia, an investment banker lets Max, an out-of-work actor, into her life and home where their relationship develops. Writer/director Martin Stitt’s story isn’t a simple romantic drama, though. A sense of unease hangs heavily in this house as we watch their romance evolve.
The major delight about this film are the unexpected turns and twists from the leads. Without knowing much about either of these characters from the off, combined with the air of something not being quite right means a constant guessing about who these people are and what they want.
That being said, it’s not all tension. There is a real sense of romance between the pair, who not only are generous and understanding toward one another but are so incredibly lifelike. Max struggles with being unemployed and its impact on his masculinity and role in his relationship with Antonia. Antonia is hard-working and independent and has got used to being this way, so how can she fit Jack in?
What’s most effective is the sense of realism. These people are lifelike but not as we’ve come to know it. Misconstruing certain representation has resulted in a skewed view of what’s real and that’s what makes these characters and their actions a real punch in the gut. It’s not usual to see this kind of behaviour, in some ways it doesn’t make sense and that’s what causes the unease. This means when the heat really rises, you can really feel the danger. You’re drawn in.
The delicate balance in Love/Me/Do between the romance and the thriller elements are both complex and simple. In some ways, stripping it back to raw performances between two people without the audience ever leaving the house heightens the outcome and doesn’t allow the emotions to get diluted by a convoluted plot.
Discretion with details leaves mystery but without spoon-fed clues. The audience is treated with respect but they aren’t trusted with the secret, much like a guest would be treated in the couple’s home.
Morals and ethics battle love and empathy here with a theme of opposition running throughout. But while watching, all that’s ever thought about are these two people and what they’re thinking. The character study is phenomenal and completely unique with the plot taking the back-seat but certainly not fading away. Unexpected in every way, Love/Me/Do answers questions but leaves audiences with questions for themselves.
Love/Me/Do is available across iTunes, Sky Box Office, Amazon, Google from 14TH November.