With a great synergy between video making and a dramatic aspect typical of theatre, Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman deliver a dark comedy about bullism and the hard choices that make up our lives. A photography in a state of grace, blessed by a taste of Frank Miller’s graphic novel influence, drops us off in a sin city made of teenagers and their problems, their expectations, their dreams and their nightmares. Paul is a shy outsider, a painful memory is hidden in his dark eyes, weakly kept alive by the answering machine: the paradox of technology, which is immortal while we’re not. This combination of new and ancient is reflexed in the scenography composed by weightless panels, which disappear like a curtain as we get closer. The theatre of life, the life of a boy struggling to be accepted and fighting to do the right thing. Choices are not easy, not even for a teenager, because choices are the same at all ages. They’re about who we are and what we want to be. The concept of fate (or predestination) is linked to a sour taste of powerlessness «evil gods are stronger than good ones» that suffocates love and acceptation.
There is no absolution for those who resort to violence, there is no rest for those who wield the knife. If hell is paved with good intentions, so is the life of Mark and the knife that killed him, who has destroyed his life. A life like that of every boy between the embarrassment for a parent a bit disoriented and a school where it’s hard to feel you’re part of something. The loves, friendships and hopes. Red roses in the rain and drawings between desks: those drawings in which Paul throws all his confused and strong feelings, just like adolescents would do. Drawings are the walls of his coffin (metaphorically and physically, thanks to great graphics), a coffin made of actions and words, even those missed. Often it’s the choice we don’t take to determine, most of all, our future.