Described as “A female-driven, post-society drama-thriller about love, madness and humankind’s everlasting quest for companionship.” I really had no idea what to expect from Matthew Packman’s film. And whatever I may have guessed I would probably have been wrong, Margo is an odd and unique beast.
Set after the apocalypse, although we’re never told what happened or see any real aftermath, the film begins with Libby (Lauren Schaubert) and Grant (Brady Suedmeyer) two lovers who survive by scavenging whatever they can find by way of food, first aid, etc. despite the hardships they’re love for each other keeps them happy until they’re discovered by other, less benevolent, survivors. Libby survives, Grant doesn’t. She makes her way on her own, and although she becomes a stronger person she is lonely and miserable without her soulmate. And then she crosses paths with Margo (Abbey Hickey) and a complex, and at times brutal conflict begins, but is it more than whet it might might seem on the surface?
Told with little dialogue and occasional songs on the soundtrack, Margo is a strange and strangely effective tale of loneliness, loss, madness and redemption. At an hour and forty five minutes it’s a bit long, especially for a film that’s a slow burn. Some of the many scenes of Libby wandering through the woods could have been trimmed to tighten up the pace a bit. Writer/director Matthew Packman also shot the film and he does well in all three roles, the film is well shot with the mostly black and white cinematography captures the claustrophobic feel of the woods nicely. The beginning and ends are shot in color and that difference works for reasons I won’t get into to avoid spoiling the story.
So far the film has found success on the festival circuit, taking home Best Screenplay and Best Feature Film honors at the 8th Annual MayDay Film Festival in Evansville, IN. It actually beat, among other films, the remarkable Harvest Lake for those awards. I can see it getting more awards before it’s done as well.
If you’re willing to invest the time and attention the film requires you’ll be well rewarded. If you prefer you’re post apocalyptic films more in the Mad Max tradition however, you might want to pass.