Written by Sara Afonso
Performed by Sara Afonso
Courtesy of Sara Afonso See more »
A chilling, thrilling volcano of a film!
Luana Di Pasquale's 'Keep Mum' is the kind of film that never stops erupting. No matter how many times you watch it, it will always scorch your heart. And when you reach the film's anguished end, your chest wound won't be healed, but Di Pasquale will have certainly cauterised it.
'Keep Mum' is a blisteringly intense volcano of a film, and for good reason. It charts the first 24 hours after a wife & mother escapes her abusive partner. The title role is played by Nadira Murray, flawlessly cast and phenomenally gifted. Most Hollywood films would end their films where 'Keep Mum' begins - at the moment of triumph over the horrors of domestic violence. But 'Keep Mum' has so much more to say, because there is much, much more to say. The horror hasn't stopped. The regret hasn't stopped. And the guilt hasn't stopped.
Visually, 'Keep Mum' is one of the most beautiful films to come out of 2019. This is an unbelievable achievement given the film's budget, and all credit must go to Luana Di Pasquale as writer/director, Martine Wolff as director of photography, and Massimiliano Guelfi as editor. The story-telling on screen here is inevitably a sensation, thanks not only to this trio, but also to an extremely talented crew working seamlessly together. The music, the visuals, the emotion, the tension, are all incredible. And Di Pasquale beautifully balances the non-linear arc with a clear narrative (which is not at all as easy as sounds, as the current debate surrounding 2020's 'Tenet' has shown).
A film such as this would be nothing without its main character, and Nadira Murray carries the film with such intensity, it's as if you're watching a crucifixion. Her rage can be subtle, her silence can be agony, and her grief can be very real indeed. You never tire of watching Murray's performance; you only wish you could do more to help her. A special mention must also go to Cameron Murray, Nadira's on-screen (and off-screen) son. A talented actor in his own right, his scenes are affectionate, unnerving and poignant; and his performance is a vital piece in comprehending the entirety of his mother's actions.
'Keep Mum' is an unforgettable film about a forgotten horror. And that horror can be hiding behind any curtain on any street. Di Pasquale and Murray have lifted that heavy curtain; they have opened that dark door. And having stepped in, you will witness a horror classic.
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