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Feature Review - Bruised

By midlandsmovies, Jul 29 2017 05:07PM

Bruised (2017) dir. Robert Ludlam

Underground Cinema presents Bruised, a short film about Danny (AJ Stevenson) an amateur boxer who saves a stranger from a mugger, then comes into contact with the stranger again and knows her as Chloe (Jessica Millott), a girl he will do anything to love and protect, at any cost.

Directed by Robert Ludlam, Bruised Is not your typical boxing drama nor is it your typical love story. The relationship between Danny and Chloe is not perfect and Danny himself is not your usual archetypal athlete. He is lonely, focused on the sport and getting the job done. His once simple life is changed when his eyes catch Chloe whilst on a morning run. SUbsequently Danny struggles to balance his feelings for her as he’s unable to forget her face.

Before making the big step in talking to her, Danny spends his nights on his laptop and his phone searching her social media. Ludlam brilliantly captures this aspect of modern love and life, where we can access someone’s entire public sphere within seconds, sometimes creating circumstances and manipulating encounters to meet a potential partner rather than it arriving naturally. The visuals here speak a thousand words with Ludlam using the image to ask if this is the healthiest way to start a relationship.

Another aspect of Bruised I really enjoyed was the director's take on violence. It’s refreshing to see a filmmaker have so much to say and so much focus on their themes. The camera lingers on the crowd as they watch Danny fight his opponent during an amateur boxing match, with the shot occupying itself on the audience’s hands as they clap and cheer on the violence. All this whilst Chloe holds back with worry plastered over her face.

Weaving in and out of the films timeline, Ludlam sensibly uses time to entertain the audience instead of confusing them. A film can sometimes lose meaning and its viewer when time is interfered with badly however it works perfectly here, leaving the audience anticipating every frame up until the final second. Assisting Ludlam in bringing Bruised to life is Lee Averne, credited as the cinematographer who is responsible for the shots that give the film its professional look complementing the director's vision. AJ Stevenson plays Danny brilliantly and is given the tough task of not having any dialogue for the first five minutes, relying instead on his face doing the talking.

Bruised is a short film that really impressed me and people who I have shown it to, I can easily place it as one of my favourite short films of 2017 and can’t wait to see what the cast and crew produce next.

Guy Russell

Twitter @BudGuyer

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