By midlandsmovies, May 23 2020 09:01AM
Luther, Michael and Her
Directed by Penelope Yeulet
Making her writing and directing debut is Penelope Yeulet whose first film Luther, Michael and Her is about two friends becoming reacquainted as they both hideout from a funeral gathering.
We are introduced to our characters in a house as a man named Michael (Rob Kirtley) enters a bathroom, but is interrupted by Luther (Penelope Yeulet) who is drowning her sorrows in the bathtub.
Both dressed in black, the two are seeking sanctuary, for perhaps different reasons, from the wake happening downstairs.
We are then given hints that hark to a previous relationship between the two. Michael appears the more understanding whilst Luther appears drunk. But the two bicker from the start about sharing the symbolic space.
The confines within the stark tiled bathroom created a cell of sorts, trapping the ex-friends before Luther shares her drink with her old companion. In the darkest of times, the two begin to break down their emotional barriers with the intention of continuing their drinking in this private refuge.
The cinematic quality of image is very professional, but the scenario feels a little underlit at times. As an accompaniment to dark subject matter it seems like an obvious stylistic choice, but I did find myself squinting at the beginning to see the action on screen.
The intense situation comes to a head when Michael confronts the reasons why they have been distant. The blame games begin and we discover their fiery connection with the departed. Their religious-related names also suggest a devil/(arch)angel dynamic and the short plays this out in the characters’ reactions.
As a first-time calling card, the film is impressive with its technical aspects and its use of a unique situation. The script could have done with another pass. Perhaps to truncate some of the dialogue which is already symbolised well by the film’s visual language. Its blocking and well-chosen camera angles and edits clearly represent the dynamic too, without the need for additional words.
However, despite a few very minor areas for improvement, Luther is a very intriguing and satisfying short film. Both actors deliver a believable and intense performance coming from different places. This keeps their clash to the forefront in a touching drama that more than pleases from the outset.