The Killing of Two Lovers is a ruthlessly independent thriller that has the potential to establish its under-the-radar director, Robert Machoian, as a compelling force, as well as its lead, Clayne Crawford (of the Lethal Weapon TV series). And by “relentlessly indie,” I mean that the film was filmed in a claustrophobically small aspect ratio, has uncompromisingly genuine performances, and is a soundtrack with sonically altered sounds of brakes squealing, vehicle doors slamming, and revolver triggers cocking. It’s all really quietly disturbing, and it may be one of the finest films of 2021 thus far.
What Should You Know Before Watching It?
The dramatic opening scene of “The Killing of Two Lovers” shows a disappointed and weary David carrying a pistol. He’s considering choosing whether to shoot Niki or shoot a man lying next to her, who isn’t disclosed to be her newfound boyfriend, Derek, until afterward in the movie. David chooses not to kill them, and the following long view that ensues depicts him sprinting back to his truck, implying terror because we can’t see who could be following him. Despite the fact that David does not carry out the plan, the anxiety persists.
In this regard, Machoian’s filming abilities truly show out. Nearly every shot has a stiff tangle of sounds in the backdrop, contributing to the unease of David’s tense and difficult position while also showing the prosaic regularity of his daily existence. Even if the pace is sluggish, there is never a sense that something isn’t building up. David’s limit is approaching.
Derek’s hubris is revealed in a non-coincidental interaction with David at the local convenience shop when he asks David to pour him coffee and add sugar in his cup since his hands are “too full.” Perhaps he begins to accuse David of plotting his assassination. He also reveals himself to be an angry, loose cannon who violently assaults David during a matrimonial spat.
This is Our Perspective on the Film
Machoian sticks to David’s viewpoint and our hearts ache for him — until his evil instincts surface, and he comes perilously near to succumbing to them. We grasp David’s anguish, yearning, and battered self-esteem, but not his fury, at certainly not to the point where he would aim a pistol at his sleeping wife. We know him on his worst day, but none of the other characters do; the film pushes our ability for forgiveness and plays with the ethical mechanics of the tale.
That’s a situational absurdity, and it gnaws at our emotions throughout the movie. The evil side of David is an untreated narrative ulcer. The Killing of Two Lovers is a sad tragedy rather than a cold and cruel drama because of its depth. The portrayals are consistently excellent and true to the inner truths of families in crisis. All we see is accurate; only the soundscape, with its startling and overdone dread tones, feels like a mistake.
Where to Watch the Movie?
The Killing Of Two Lovers can be streamed on Hulu Plus for the time being.