Benny Loves Killing
The deep narrative that is suggested through the plot and the use of claustrophobic camera angles makes things slightly confusing when combined together.
It can be stated right from the start that this film is technically adept, masterfully shot and uses blindingly beautiful colour; Benny Loves Killing is one hell of a picturesque indie film.
There have been some very powerful phrases to describe Ben Woodiwiss’ first feature film, with Look/Think Films themselves declaring their work as “A difficult beauty… [it] is both a love letter, and a bullet, to the cinema”. After carefully trying to put together a response to this, my opinion would be that I agree…to some extent.
Benny Loves Killing is a narrative focused very closely upon a young student studying film in London, with her thesis being to produce a horror film. She clearly identifies herself as a filmmaker and holds that very close to her, shaping her personality to fit various characters and seeing the world differently from others. Pursuing this overwhelming desire to be a filmmaker, Benny (Pauline Cousty) finds herself dealing with a tremendous amount of turmoil. Her mind is unfocused, she is constantly trying to escape reality and her lifestyle inevitably suffers.
The deep narrative that is suggested through the plot and the use of claustrophobic camera angles makes things slightly confusing when combined together. The script, however, is dead on. There are some very smart pieces of dialogue where we can recognise that Benny understands film like an expert and we can see that she has potential to become a great filmmaker – “When you’re watching a horror film and the camera is in the eyes of the killer, who do you identify with? The mind of the killer whose eyes you’re looking through or the girl you’re looking at? Both? You sympathise with the girl you’re looking at not with the eyes you’re looking through, that’s the kind of way it works”.
Benny is an uncomfortable, disturbed character with a very unsociable demeanour, yet from some scenes that have her talking to herself in front of a mirror the storyline hints towards her inner desire to be confident and strong and through wearing a wig it allows her to change who she is, giving her the strength to become someone else, someone who stands up for herself and what she believes in.
Focusing now on the conclusion of Benny Loves Killing, it saddens me to say how disappointing it was to have this colourfully dark storyline end so abruptly and without the necessary closure the audience needed in understanding Benny’s self discovery. Looking back it feels like ninety minutes of this one hundred minute film were close ups to focus on and create Benny’s identity and then the tail end of the film allowed for the characters’ realisation, which in most cases if done correctly, is the right way to organise the narrative. However, the last scene came so quickly I do not feel it gave the rest of the storyline a justified ending.
Regardless of that opinion, Benny Loves Killing was flawless in its cinematography design and the quality in acting by Pauline Cousty was outstanding; she really showcased her diversity and ability to portray several different emotions and due to these established qualities, Benny Loves Killing will be an indie hit throughout its festival endeavours.