"Once in a relationship, you find out these things about your partner…"
Added 28th May 2021
Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster
Released in 2021
Catherine is a well-turned-out young lady married to Dan, but when she yet again spies on him hunched over his lap top in the wee small hours engaged in we know not what, anger and hurt overcome her and she kills him. However, all is not what it seems, and through a dreams, visions and flashbacks, an even darker tale unfolds.
And Zebra Girl keeps you guessing!
Darkly humorous on the surface, ‘Zebra Girl,’ looks at, and dialogs with some pretty serious issues. Sexual abuse, psychosis, mental health, it’s all there, running under the surface of what was a stage play, which did really well on the indie scene before being adapted for the big screen.
Penned for both, by acclaimed American play right, Derek Ahonen, with the adaptation written in collaboration with Director Stephanie Zari and producer/actress Sarah Roy, the result is fascinating, but sometimes a bit disjointed. This may well have been Zebra Girl’s creators’ intent, but somehow the translation from stage to screen feels a little bumpy, however it is sometimes tricky to develop a staged, static, dialog driven piece to something more visually fluid. In this case though, they’ve gotten away with bumpy, as with every revelation and plot twist the audience is taken on a nose dive into the darker workings of Catherine’s mind, childhood and relationships.
So, if it’s dead pan humour and a touch of slasher violence you’re after as a metaphor for deeper issues, and an original point of view, this is the film for you. Set in one house, with only a few close ups of anywhere else, ‘Zebra Girl’ is also an ideal choice for a low budget, controllable, debut feature. Stephanie Zari’s direction is strong and paced to suit the off-beat script, and the performance of joint lead, Tom Cullen is very good as Dan, set against actress Sarah Roy’s jagged, but sincere portrayal of Catherine.
The production is seamless, but look again down the credits and there’s a clue as to why. Veteran, celebrated auteur Vadim Jean, is ‘Zebra Girl’s’ executive producer, which gives the film a pedigree that elevates it above usual first feature productions.
The result is a bit of a one-off, and very worth 82 minutes of your time, if the subject matter is your thing.
THE B CLUB RATING : B b b B
Starring: Sarah Roy, Tom Cullen, Jade Anouka
Director: Stephanie Zari
Zebra Girl is screening nationwide from 28th May 2021.
The B Club
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