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Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Almost thirty years later, she reluctantly agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.
A young woman cycles through seven relationships, each one depicted in a distinct cinematic style. As she adapts all-too-seamlessly to the world of each new partner, she begins to ask herself the question: who am I when I'm not in love?
'The Living' is about unintended consequences arising from difficult decisions clouted by complicated personalities and troubled minds. It is a nice indie dark movie, with several highlights but some compromising flaws.
Acting is surprisingly good, with actors punching way above their weight. This his the highlight of the movie. The slow scenes with agonizing seconds of silences give them a dark and deep vibe, and the actors nail it, looking natural and very comfortable on screen.
The context of the story plot is very cliché, however, as it revolves about the struggles of a battered woman and her alcoholic husband who loves-her-even-though-he-hit-her.
Strangely, the lack of character development isn't that much detrimental on 'The Living' as it would be in many other movies, as the focus quickly shifts to the mental state and how the characters process the situation they got themselves involved with, instead of just re-telling a worn-out and over-used simple story line.
Finally, editing seems to be hurried up, as it is the case of so many otherwise promising indie productions, unfortunately. As I mentioned, many individual scenes are harrowing, deep and engaging, but the transitions don't work that well, which is frustrating.
I give 'The Living' a 6/10 score, realizing I'm averaging some very good marks with poor ones. Having so much quality disparity is what, in my opinion, makes the difference between some other reviews here that swing from critical 3s to glowing 9s and 10s.
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