A study in the articulations and limitations of first love.
Duane Hopkins Love Me Or Leave Me Alone (2003) – Love can be a difficult emotion to understand as an adult and even more so in our youth. When you’re young and in love, life overall seems harder to know. In just eleven minutes, the ups and downs of teenage love are presented in the bleak backdrop of the British countryside, setting the mood. It isn’t made clear why the couple was quarreling, but the blanks can be filled in with perhaps one of your trivial tale of romantics as to why at one time or another first love would become infuriated with one another.
Teenage love is a period of questioning and trial and error moments. Steven and Jessica are in the midst of what it is like to love and care about another person and soon regret the harmful things they may have said to each other. Even more difficult, how to apologize and reconcile. Steven soon realizes that he may have reacted harshly–he spat in his girlfriend’s face–he sets out to look for her after she storms off into the dark countryside.
Most of the shots are in dimly lit to dark environments, and most of the cinematography overall is dismal. In some scenes, there is total darkness aside from the headlights of cars passing. Despite the lack of visual stimulation, the feature captures love lingering torments as the relationship in Love Me dissolves unpredictably.
Believable performances, aside from the mediocre introduction, Love Me or Leave Me Alone is worth at least a peek. The film, beautifully photographed (although dark) and tremendously engaging for a short film. While some of the scenes tend to lag at some points–some of the conversations were barely audible–the drama between the two characters, Steven (Jay Firkins), and Jessica (Zoe Rietti) remains cohesive.