Broken Lines review

Broken Lines is a first for many of those involved. It's the debut feature from director Sallie Aprahamian, and the first screenplay from actors Dan Fredenburgh and Doraly Rosa.

At the risk of sounding cruel, this fact makes itself clear early on. An early scene staring Fredenburgh is overly melodramatic and asks too much of suspended reality. There are often moments where this feels like a student project, a shame given the gifted cast. A case in point is Olivia Williams. A brilliant actor whose only purpose was to sob or cry as soon as the camera turned on her.

It's easy to take the skill of actors such as Paul Bettany for granted, but when placed in a film such as Broken Lines his star shines brightly and eclipses those around him. Dodgy astral analogies aside, his portrayal of someone living with the effects of stroke is both powerful and difficult to watch at times.

The plot revolves around Jake (Fredenburgh) and B (Rosa), two individuals unhappy or unsatisfied in their existing relationships. They look to each other as a way of escape, but ultimately this demands a high price from their respective partners. One of the two is presented in a much more sympathetic manner, but there seems to be little sentimentality towards the broken lives they leave in their wake. Aprahamian says it is up to the audience to decide if the lead character's actions are justified or not.

Official Site
Broken Lines at IMDb

Keith Emmerson

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