Review: Hush

A married man becomes obsessed with his best friend’s wife and struggles to contain his unrequited desires. Written and directed by Joseph McGovern, starring: Anthony Scanish, Melissa Damas, Kristin Ann Teporelli, Erik Searle, Constance Reshey and Marion Tention.

Making a 10-minute film and including zero dialogue is a risky choice, keeping anyone’s attention these days is difficult enough but taking away speech makes it extra difficult, but that said, it does work. The film even potentially works better without dialogue, after watching it, it’s difficult to see how it would really add anything, as it would just take away from the tension.

It’s a slow build up to the point that the film is making and while the point itself is more than valid, the journey it takes to get there has an unfortunate perspective. As the events are viewed through the eyes of the married lead, it presents itself as more of a misguided love rather than what in actuality is a man who has little self-control and is obsessed with the idea of his best friend’s wife. The problem with it is that there shouldn’t be any sympathy for this character and the choice of perspective feels like it’s pushing for that, calling it ‘love’ displays a more simplistic idea of the situation which misses its serious and disturbing nature. The overlaying with the lead’s dream sequences of his obsession returning his affections is excessive, it over mixes the positive images he has in his head with the negative reality and it starts to send the wrong message, as it doesn’t stay balanced enough.

It wouldn’t appear that the filmmaker’s intentions were to portray an abuse story from the perspective of the abuser but the end result does fall into that arena. It’s a shame more perspectives weren’t offered, particularly his wife’s as she gets little role in the story or the victim’s which would have been a nice balance with the fantasy version of her that’s presented. It gets where it needs to go but a few different paths could have been beneficial along the way.

The quality of the film itself is good but it’s hindered by those choices which focus too solely on the lead, a story of this nature needed another element, it fell too deeply into one point of view and sends a bit of a mixed message, despite its good intentions. It’s a sincere effort but it unfortunately doesn’t have a strong enough handle on the subject to take its importance into account. The story portrays it as if those feelings should be considered as some form of love, which is a dangerous tact to take, when it’s more an issue of obsession and the aggression that results from an inability to control desires.

Verdict: 5/10 | ✯✯1/2

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