Kill Your Lover

Kill Your Lover poster

“Nothing’s sad until it’s over; then everything is,” a wise man once said; what was likely intended to be little more than a fling in the minds of Dakota and Axel when they first met and went home together having mutated into something very different, a long term relationship and commitment involving a mortgage and merging their belongings, changing their lives and personalities, it is now ending and it’s not pretty.

Dakota the one who wants out while Axel would like to acknowledge and address the problems they have, find a common ground in their differences and rekindle the passion they once had, it takes two to make a relationship but only one to break it, and a sickness has come into their love, a strange malady which presents first in non-specific flu-like symptoms in Axel but rapidly develops into a malignant black rash spreading tendrils across his skin.

Kill Your Lover; Dakota and Axel (Paige Gilmour and Shane Quigley-Murphy) in happier days.

Starring Paige Gilmour as Dakota and Shane Quigley-Murphy as Axel, she didn’t want the relationship to change her but it did, her band Black Glove Killer dissolving as she became tame and domesticated, unhappy in the new role she finds herself playing in Kill Your Lover, the feature debut of the established husband and wife writer and director team of Keir Siewert and Alix Austin, its UK premiere at FrightFest at Glasgow Film Festival.

The work a collaboration where both characters have an advocate, there no absolutes, neither in the right or the wrong, neither saintly or a saboteur, both individuals moving through their lives and wanting what is best for themselves and what they think is best for the other though Axel in particular may not be thinking clearly as his condition deteriorates, the crawling lines across his body a creeping manifestation of the darkness within him.

Kill Your Lover; a shattered photo of the times when they could still pretend to love each other.

Does Dakota blame him that her band broke up? Having said her photos don’t fit the aesthetic of the flat, can sentimental reasons justify his granny’s ugly lamp? While Axel can be controlling, does he feel he has to push her because she’s fallen into a rut? One thing he cannot be accused of is being a hypochondriac, instead being the type of man who flatly refuses to go to the doctor even when something is obviously deeply wrong, his anger spilling out in a caustic slime he begins to secrete.

The man she once loved becoming aggressive and possessive, is that what he always was? Their present wreck of a relationship summed up in the photo taken by the harbour, the shattered frame now shards of sharp glass, Kill Your Lover is an intensely physical film carried almost entirely by the two leads in a single setting, tearing into flesh where they once tore each other’s clothes off, too far gone to forgive and unable to walk away, forced to fight it out until the bitter end despite knowing there can be no winner.

The Glasgow Film Festival concluded on Sunday 10th March

Kill Your Lover; Dakota and Axel (Paige Gilmour and Shane Quigley-Murphy) realise that their relationship is beyond saving.



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