I brought a friend with me to see Broken Lines. Once the credits began to roll he turned to me, let out a deep breath and said “I need a moment to process that“. Then we went to the pub and discussed the film for almost two hours; it was near impossible to think of anything else.
This is the story of Becca (Doraly Rosa) and Jake (Dan Fredenburgh), two people struggling to deal with their stagnant, obligation-driven lives. Becca cannot bring herself to have a life outside of caring for her boyfriend Chester (Paul Bettany), a former boxer who suffered a stroke and is frustrated by his dependence on others. Jake is dealing with the recent death of his father, his anger at his mother and his own feelings of entrapment in an unhappy engagement. The pair enter into a secret affair fuelled by their desire to break free of their obligations and pursue the dreams they once had.
Broken Lines is a heavy film, make no mistake, but it is also a fascinating story with complex and relatable characters. The genius of the film is that it captures so well the unfair nature of reality. No character is bad, they just want to be happy, but to be happy requires change and change means abandoning someone else. Director Sallie Aprahamian makes good use of contemporary London as a backdrop and has a talent for creating silences that say much more than words could.
Heart-wrenching, powerful and brilliant, Broken Lines will stay in your mind long after you’ve left the theatre. (Words: Beth Downey)
In cinemas September 30th.