Monday, February 9, 2015

Blaming the Victim: "Perspective" Tackles Sexual Assault

Genre: Drama
Length- 7:02
Company: Dragonstone Pictures
Website: Official Facebook

A young woman (Sarah-Louise Cairney) attends a party dressed to kill.  She flirts with every guy she sets her eyes on and dances and drinks the night away.

It is SO hard to say any more without spoiling it, but suffice it to say it's a film with a lot of weighty issues . . . mainly, the question of blame when it comes to a victim of sexual assault.


The fact that people exist who would EVER suggest that a victim of a crime is in some way a guilty party is disgusting to me, and obviously to the makers of this short film as well, but unfortunately such people exist.  As a result, writer/director Simon Fox created "Perspective".

The concept is an interesting one: we have a crime committed, and then we look at how different people interpret what they see happening in different ways -- kind of like a miniaturized version of TV's "Boom Town".  It's a good idea, but there's just no way that Fox and company could deliver a film that capitalized on the promise of that concept in barely seven minutes, including credits.

Literally, we have Cairney's character dancing and drinking and flirting, and flirting and drinking and dancing.  Then we have a couple sentences of interpretation from a few peripheral characters -- and that's it.  We don't feel any connection to any of the characters and we are aloof from the action.

I appreciate the theme of "Perspective", but as a film, it fell short for me.


Writing: 1 / 5.  Fox's story is nonexistent and doesn't build up to any kind of payoff.  At best, it's the sort of cautionary film shown in a high school Health class.
Directing: 3 / 5.  The visuals aren't bad here, and I enjoyed the tight close ups peppered throughout the film.
Editing: 3 / 5.  Effective.  The film moves extremely quickly, but that's due more to the lack of anything for the characters to do.
Sound/Music: 3 / 5.  I liked Philip Graham's moody score.
Acting: 4 / 5.  All the actors did well -- that being said, their performances didn't call for much that was demanding.

Final Grade: 2.8 / 5.

Check out "Perspective" on Vimeo and follow the creators on Facebook!

Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!