Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Lara Gallagher's lesbian love, loss and lust tale -- CLEMENTINE -- hits home video

In the first few minutes of CLEMENTINE (it's a fruit-based title, rather than anything Darling or eponymously named for a character), we are treated to enormous love and attraction, followed by a sharp heartbreak and then fleeing and/or escape -- all conveyed with quick, efficient and most attractive visuals.

The first full-lengther from writer/director Lara Gallagher, the film demonstrates promise but is finally too slow-paced with too-little content to warrant its not long (but still a tad too long) 94-minute running time.

Ms. Gallagher (shown at right) has cast her movie well, with leading actress Otmara Marrero (at left, above and below) particularly compelling to watch. Possessing a wonderfully expressive and beautiful face, Ms Marrero easily conveys the various stages of attraction, anger, despair and enticement that our heroine, Karen, is currently experiencing.

Her co-star Sydney Sweeney (above and below, right) however, has the more difficult role and seems somewhat miscast (particularly in terms of age range) as the mysterious maybe-femme-fatale, Lana, who appears out of nowhere at the country home where Karen is -- without the permission of its owner -- currently ensconced.

Most of the plot, such as it is, derives from the question of just who this Lana person is and what she really wants. The answer we finally learn is underwhelming and takes an awfully long time to arrive. Meanwhile, Gallagher vamps us via a local Mr. Fix It fellow (Will Brittain), who might have the hots for Karen or maybe Lana or maybe neither, as our heroine tries to come to grips with the loss of her former lover and how she might move ahead.

Art has its place in the tale (Karen is a budding artist, while her ex is a successful one), and so does acting, auditioning and some questionable video -- which may bring to mind the recent movie, Tape,(among others). The very nice cinematography is from Andres Karu, and other technical credits are on target, as well.

From Oscilloscope Films, Clementine, after hitting virtual theaters this past May, is now available on home video via VOD and various digital platforms.

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