In what is the most evocative, heart-wrenching film to come out in the first half of 2021, this deep exploration of a trial separation stripped me to my core.
Focusing on the disintegrating marriage between David and Nikki, it’s a no-holds-barred take on what losing everything can do to a man.
Clayne Crawford is brooding as David, the Lethal Weapon star hidden under long, straight hair and an unkempt beard. While his wife enjoys the perks of a trial separation, he desperately looks for ways to get her back.
There’s a violent, guttural feeling throughout, and David’s tensions threaten to boil over into aggression at any moment. The sound mixing and 4:3 aspect ratio pull you in and don’t let go.
David fights to keep a shred of normalcy for his four kids, while still obeying the separation protocols Nikki and he both agreed to. There’s an overwhelming resentment that Nikki is moving on and he remains stuck, trapped in his own efforts to win her back.
Sepideh Moafi plays Nikki with the fervour of a mother just trying to navigate a situation she isn’t used to. She cares for new boyfriend Derek (expertly portrayed by Chris Coy), all the while trying not to hurt her estranged husband.
As David and Nikki hit an inevitable tipping point, The Killing Of Two Lovers becomes more than a film. It’s visual poetry, and an examination of a relationship from an underbelly point-of-view audiences will be afraid to admit they relate to.