How do you mend a broken heart?

Hans (Richard James Allen) is a middle aged driving instructor who still lives at home with his overbearing, Italian mother. Money is tight and they have to rent out a spare room to a young musician, Matilda (Emily David) who bares a striking resemblance to Sara, an ex who passed away after an accident, and this doesn’t help Hans’ mental state. After dumping his meds down the drain, Hans starts transforming into a Travis Bickle/Arthur Fleck like obsessive psychotic who thinks that Matilda is his second chance at happiness.

Falling further into a deep state of mental instability, Hans becomes more obsessed with Matilda to the point where his fantasy of what he wants her to be slowly takes over and he can no longer separate what’s real from what’s in his head. This leads him to commit several acts of violence and a kidnapping or two before finally succumbing to his depression.

People deal with trauma in different ways and everyone’s way of dealing with grief varies based on their personality. In this case, a man who’s been held under the thumb of his mother his whole life regresses to a pathetic husk of a human being who can not process his pain. His inability to move past his sadness and carry on his life forces him to create a narrative in his head in which he sees himself as a hero, going as far as to stage a scenario that makes him look like the man he wishes he could be.

Parish Malfitano makes a strong debut as a feature film writer and director with this tragically beautiful tale of mental anguish and repressed trauma. A spectacular performance from Allen who captures all the little moments of someone who has suffered a traumatic event in his life and how his way of processing the events are doing more harm than good. Trippy, drug induced cinematography and editing add to Hans’ descent into the abyss that feels all too familiar at times.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fantastic Film Festival Australia screens BLOODSHOT HEART on select dates from April 23 until April 29. Tickets are on sale HERE

FFFA 2021 Review – Bloodshot Heart

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), April 9, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 90 min.

PRODUCTION: A FanForce Films release of a Bloodshot Pictures, Fieldstar Pictures, The Physical TV Company production. Producers: Richard James Allen, Parish Malfitano, Martin Thorne.

CREW: Director/writer: Parish Malfitano. Cinematography: Susan Lumsdon, Aleksei Vanamois. Editing: Shannon Michaelas. Music: Ola Turkiewicz.

CAST: Richard James Allen, Emily David, Natalia Ladyko, Matt Lausch, Byron Luckey.

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