Writer and director Kieran Evans has applied a refreshing and brave method in the making of Kelly + Victor. The film classes itself as a rom-com, but almost nothing about it screams clichéd romance. Evans himself has stated that he likes to make films with flawed characters. It is this concept that makes Kelly + Victor one of the most memorable films this year. However, one lesson that Evans could have employed in the making of this overtly disturbing drama is that sometimes less is more; there are some scenes plagued with material that is difficult to watch. In any case, the plot and characters work together to create a truly incredible exhibition of revolutionary filmmaking.
The story begins once Kelly (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) catches Victor’s (Julian Morris) eye at a nightclub in Liverpool. In this moment, Evans incorporates the first of many fantastic scores from the phenomenal soundtrack: romantic classical music plays over the bustling nightclub bass and techno as the couple encounter each other for the first time. A scene of two youngsters meeting, sharing a snog and embarking back to one of their houses would usually be considered common and rather unromantic. However, Evans effectively abolishes this impression from the scene, and introduces a sense of romance that quickly twists into a disconcerting and unsettling relationship and back again. The film tilts from sweetly tender moments to intense and disturbing sex scenes. Campbell-Hughes gives a mind-blowing performance, with scenes of great vulnerability that really work to draw the audience to a sympathetic connection, but this is sharply eradicated when Campbell-Hughes’ character adopts a sadistic and aggressively dominant persona in the bedroom.
Morris plays the love-sick role extremely well, with the same overwhelming sense of fragility that captures the audience and keeps them sucked into the storyline. The most interesting aspect of this incredibly original love story is the subtle presence of Kelly’s ex-boyfriend, who makes a small appearance on screen yet has a huge influence over Kelly’s psyche.
Kelly + Victor is a film that many may struggle to watch more than once. However, the exceptional execution of this romantic drama will not be forgotten.
Kelly + Victor is released nationwide on 20th September 2013.
Watch the trailer for Kelly + Victor here: