a short film by Eric Casaccio.
2014 | 17 mins | US.
starring: Hunter Lee Hughes / Evan, Brionne Davis / Rob, Jonathan Looper / Jon, Christopher Gaida / Dean, Michael Raif / Michael and with the voice of Angela McEwan as Evan's Grandmother.
Adapted Synopsis: "Kind hearted Evan thinks he's finally found the love of his life, in his hunk of a boyfriend Rob. Only the man is a dark knight, that of a manipulative individual who suddenly pulls the carpet out from under Evan, breaking his heart and dreams in the process."
Following his vivid portrait of the emotional times of a transgendered soul, that is Freak, here we find writer and director Eric Casaccio again dive into the deep end of human relationships. Only this is not your typical tale of boy-meets-boy. Rather Casaccio and to his credit has gone out of his way to shine the spotlight on one man's journey to deal with the emotional fallout following his painful relationship with a man with narcissistic personality disorder.
For it is that Jekyll and Hyde theme that dominates this work, that of a controlling persona that is well played by Brionne Davis; whispering words of adoration one moment, only to spit venom at his lover, the next. No surprise then that this short has some dark scenes, a menacing feel that is wonderfully handled, as the issue of trust central to any relationship is played out right before your eyes. Yet this is also a work that triumphantly illustrates how you can move on from such, with Hunter Lee Hughes of Winner Takes All credit, beautifully echoing the lines of the Gloria Gaynor classic "I Will Survive."
The painful truth of a manipulative lover in Narcissist.
Strikingly juxtaposing flashback sequences of happier times between the two with scenes reverberating with the sounds of terror, Casaccio has delivered a work that rises well above its limited budget, one that is certain to give hope to others dealing with the stress of a narcissistic relationship, if not the shame one can feel in having been fooled by the sweet talk and deceptive charm of a man who far from being your Mr Right, turned out to be Mr Wrong. Packed with many a neat touch, cue the relationship photo album scene, this is undoubtedly a work from the heart and it shows in its emotional power. Yet here I feel for Angela McEwan of Alexander Payne's acclaimed Nebraska fame; a voiceover in both shorts, including the photographic representation of Evan's grandmother, surely her place is rightly in front of Casaccio's camera, for all to enjoy. Third time lucky, perhaps?
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.