David desperately tries to keep his family of six together during a separation from his wife. They both agree to see other people but David struggles to grapple with his wife’s new relationship.
Directed by Robert Machoian, ‘The Killing of Two Lovers’ is a tense family drama about a man struggling to come to terms with the disintegration of his marriage, particularly when his ex finds a new man. The movie begins with a man standing over a bed with a gun in his hand, and we soon learn this is David (Clayne Crawford), and the potential victims are his ex-wife (Sepideh Moafi) and her new lover (Chris Coy). He withdraws at this point, but the potential for David to go further hangs over much of ‘The Killing of Two Lovers’, and this is a taut exploration of a man on the verge of a breakdown.
Clayne Crawford, who was so terrific as Teddy on the underrated and underseen drama series ‘Rectify’, delivers one of the best performances of the year as David, who despite his introduction we grow to empathise with. We see all sides of him, his anger, his sadness and his love for his children, his ex and his elderly father, and this cocktail of emotions threatens to overwhelm him. David and his ex Nikki (Moafi) had agreed they could see other people, but its clear that David is not ready for this development to take place as he still believes their relationship can be salvaged. Maybe Nikki does too, but her actions suggest otherwise. A lot of the movie is played out dialogue free, leaving us alone with David and his thoughts, with Peter Albrechtson’s brilliant sound design really enhancing the tension. Crawford is an expressive actor and much of his best work here is done in these moments, really drawing us into the pain and suffering that he is barely managing to keep in check.
I found the relationships depicted in the film to be believably human, particularly the one between David and his oldest daughter Jess (Avery Pizzuto), who is old enough to partially understand what is happening between her parents and is particularly troubled by it. It is a short film at less than 90 minutes and I think that works in its favour, allowing the tension to build up without ever letting a moment lapse to give David, or the audience respite. ‘The Killing of Two Lovers’ is an excellent American independent film, with an outstanding lead performance from Clayne Crawford and strong writing, and it is well worth seeking out.
Directed By: Robert Machoian
Starring: Clayne Crawford, Sepideh Moafi, Chris Coy, Avery Pizzuto, Arri Graham and Ezra Graham