6 February 2015 | riverwanderer9
A film that is far darker than most viewers would want to believe.
This movie does not straight up tell you the dark truths that are being hinted at. You have to realize it for yourself. It initially appears fairly simple. Dawn isn't able to have a baby with her husband David, and David's insane (maybe not so insane) ex-military brother, Nick, comes to stay for a while. There is a much darker story at the root of it all. It appears that David and his brother are both pathological liars. I kept hoping for some huge discovery of information, but the film deliberately ends up leaving you with more questions in the end than at the beginning.
It's time to play a little Sherlock Holmes here, people. Get out your thinking caps because there is plenty of evidence in the film to suggest what I am about to claim.
Now, listen carefully. Brother Nick claims of an abusive father. David claims of an abusive mother. David tells his wife in confidence that it was Nick who shoved their mother down a flight of stairs which hospitalized her years ago in the past. Dawn finds out the truth from Nick, which that it was actually David who committed this act. She asks him why he lied, initially blaming it on Nick. He responds and says because their mother was abusive. This doesn't make sense to lie about. If the past was too painful, you wouldn't bring it up at all. He instead blamed it on his own brother, the very brother he was protecting? If you were protecting him, why tell such a hideous lie? Clearly there was a more sinister reason for doing it. The reason David says his mother was abusive, is because she at one point probably found out about an incestuous relationship between David and his brother.
Jumping to the end (when the story really breaks open), you almost think Dawn was tricked. It's because she was. There are two massive plot developments here. A scene where she insists Nick tell her the truth about him and her husband David after Nick runs away because of a fight. Alone together at Nick and David's old abandoned farm; Nick screams at her, hurt and upset, and says: "He Fu*ks you, but he loves me (referring to David). When we were younger.. look, our dad was abusive. And David would protect me.. He sort of.. owned me". These lines startle her so much that she storms away in fury and tells him she will return with money so that he can leave town. She doesn't want to believe the words she just heard. And, neither do you (or I) the viewers. Hence why they never shove the truth in your face. You have to figure this out. I felt like the smoking gun followed this scene. Dawn goes home to retrieve money for Nick in secrecy so she can have him leave town from his secret location after running away. David claims to not know where Nick is at first. She leaves the house with money and some items to help his brother leave town. When she returns to the abandoned farm to give him the money, Nick is no longer there. David knew where she was going all along, clearly. When she returns home, she is in labor (impregnated by a close friend because she desperately wanted a baby, but this is irrelevant to the darker part of the story). She falls to the ground in the lawn, and the first thing she asks is: "Where is he, where is Nick? He's back.. He came back. He was suppose to be at the barn". David says "I know". But doesn't tell her where Nick is. She insistently asked where Nick is with no reply - he just stares at her. David and Nick coordinated seeing each other while she was away looking for Nick to give him money to leave town. This is obvious. David is caught in multiple lies through out the film that imply a past he is not being honest about. Again, it is up to you, the viewer, to understand what it probably the truth here. There is even a scene were Nick decides to put on Dawn's clothes, dress up as a woman, and karaoke in front of his brother dressed as a woman. The look on David's face falls to complete depression. It's as if it makes him sad for reasons we do not know as the viewer.
Sometimes a story this dark is better alluded to, rather than shoving it directly in your face. The subject matter is so dark, one probably would not want to see such scenes played out on film. This is a clever screen play, and in that regards I'm massively impressed. It truly leaves the viewer to do a little detective work as it's clear Dawn simply cannot handle the truth (and neither can the viewer honestly). And no, I am not suffering from Sherlock Cumberbatch syndrome, ha!
I guess the ultimate point to this piece however, is possibly the message that happiness comes in many forms. That's all I could gather from this film. That, and acceptance. We must accept the ones we love even when it doesn't make sense to us. There is more that meets the eye when it comes to David, and its left to the viewer to decide what those dark truths are though difficult to think about. There are clues through out the entire film that David has been involved sexually with Nick. Trust me, I didn't want to believe this. But that is the point. The viewer doesn't want to believe this scenario is possible, and neither does Dawn. At the end, she chooses happiness, has the baby (though another sperm donor), and tries to live her life with David never to know the truth. Ignorance is bliss, and some times not knowing the truth is better than looking it in the face.