New Indie Film, Comedy-Drama, Mental Health Struggles, Human Interest Story
AXS ENTERTAINMENT / ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / MOVIES
June 22, 2016
Rarely do we see black and white in the digital age. So when a film such as “Josephine Doe” utilizes the lack of color to advance the narrative, it is refreshing and artistically masterful. Not only does lack of color force the viewers focus on the relationships between the characters, but also we are subjected to the vapid mind of Claire (played by Erin Cipolletti), in which Josephine (played by Emma Griffin), is the shining beacon of color.
“Josephine Doe” emphasizes on the relationships we form through life and the friends we keep. With it’s attention to visual detail and seamless continuity, we share Claire’s experiences and also that of those around her. We experience the darkly comical moments of Claire’s bleak mind as well as the stark reality of very real issues in our collective sanity. Never more could one agree with the notion that “we are all a little mad”.
While the relationship between Claire and Josephine is the crux of the film, the interactions with her sister, Angie (Elisabeth Bennet), are heart-wrenchingly poignant. We come to understand Claire not only through her oddness, her mannerisms, and idiosyncrasies but also through what is not said between her and her sister. Here the things that go unsaid are truly powerful.
The inevitable confrontation between Claire and Angie in which we finally come to realize what Angie has been holding back the entire time is indeed the high point. The quick exchange gives us at last understanding on behalf of Angie, and great empathetic sadness for Claire’s apparent and hopeless isolation. Interactions and at times the lack of, in the relationships of these wonderful and wacky characters, foster a roller- coaster of emotions making us feel for Claire’s ultimate struggle and hope for her possible solution. The many reveals are artistically subtle, cut with a gentle hand, again; seamless.
“Josephine Doe,” is a topical film raising significant points about mental illness and the way we as a society, address it. It also asks us to realize that madness is within all of us and it’s ok at times, to laugh. It’s a wonder we all don’t have a Josephine in our lives. Then again, perhaps we do and don’t know it.
A masterfully crafted story line whose characters you’ll fall in love with as if long lost friends. In a film which juxtaposes madness against reality; we hold the passenger door wide open for “Josephine Doe.
Director: Ryan Michael
Writer: Erin Cipolletti
Stars: Erin Cipolletti, Emma Griffin, Elisabeth Bennett