Forgiving Amy (2013) – By Kirsten Walsh

We enter the sorrowful tale of “Forgiving Amy” in the middle of a dank, run-down apartment at which we find Amy (played by the emotional Aoife King) on the floor. She ignores a call from her father, and we see that she has been severed from her family since her mother’s death. Now, living with her drug-addicted, violent wreck of a boyfriend, we follow her path as she realizes she has erred in bypassing her family. The logline of the film is simple: “Forgive, before you regret”. Coming in at just under twenty minutes, this film is an excellent commentary on the youth of today’s world and how many of them don’t think out the consequences of their actions.

King’s performance as Amy is stellar, as we see her being forced into a variety of situations that shouldn’t be forced upon anyone. Her abuse by her boyfriend ends in a harsh moment of her laying on a hardwood floor, and with the mix of the beautiful cinematography and the tragedy in her eyes, one can truly picture being there next to her, silently observing as her life unravels in front of her. With poignant dialogue in the beautiful Irish accents, the film has a morose lyrical quality as the characters trudge on. The ending is justified and not a surprise to the viewer, but how far director James Mulholland takes it truly allows the darkness to seep into the audience’s mind.

Mulholland has been very active in letting the film’s fans be a part of the production through his regular posts and photos on the film’s Facebook fan page. Through this, he states that the film had been on his mind and in pre-production for two years as he got everything lined up- and it shows in the film. Shot on a RED ONE MX, the cinematography is excellent, even in the shaky handheld moments in the beginning credits. The viewer is kept pretty close to the characters, there is never really an open establishing shot of the apartment, just mid shots and close ups, giving the feel of Amy’s world being claustrophobic and truly un-escapable. The action is kept at bay, with Quigs’ moment of brutality against someone other than Amy kept off camera, and the viewer only sees the end result. The shots degrade as the end of the film approaches, signaling both that Amy is close to hitting rock bottom with no signs of redemption, and that the end of the film is nigh. The sound design is extremely minimalist, as the only sounds that resonate with the viewer are Amy’s cellphone and the creaking of the chairs Amy and Quigs sit on in their ramshackle apartment.

Ultimately, this film is an excellent, slow paced, dialogue heavy piece, geared for serious adult audiences, and an moving film to contemplate.

If you’d like to find out more about the film, you can check out its Facebook page.