Review: FELT

felt-dvdMy life is a fucking nightmare.”

That opening line sets the tone for FELT, spoken in voice over by Amy (Amy Everson, who co-wrote the film with directed Jason Banker, (TOAD ROAD), based on experiences in her past) as she is walking barefoot down the street, sporting what looks to be a frog onesie. I’m not sure if that voice over was originally in the script, but it automatically instills into the audience that FELT is not going to be an uplifting film by any means. It gets us ready for the grim and psychotic visuals of a woman with what is assumed to be an abusive history of our lead involving the men in her life. How different would the movie feel if the voice over was removed and allowed the audience to go and decide for themselves what they are watching? Amy’s blank expressions and obsession with making art in the form of sexual organs make her the center art piece of the film, yet there doesn’t feel the need to interpret anything when she’s said all there needs to be said in the opening few minutes.

Amy is one disturbed artist, pushed by her closest, if not only, friends to go on dates and meet with men at a chance of a normal life. They frequent online dating sites to try to get her with an all American boy, yet she seems hesitant. When she does go on these dates, even the nicest of guys gets crude remarks and cold shoulders. She appears disgusted by them and even the slightest touch from a man gets her on edge. On a double date, Amy instigates one of the males to the point where a physical altercation begins to arise where he threatens to hit her (“I don’t care if you’re a female”) to which she responds, “Neither do I.”

Her emotions are never fully explored as not even the slightest hints are given to what drove her to be this person, but it wants to leave an impression on the audience with the last scene. Not sure it is as effective as it wants to be, but it would be interesting to sit in a round table of people who just watched the movie and hear what they have to say.

There’s a scene in FELT where Amy arrives at a photo shoot with a topless model in lingerie. The male photographer hides behind an oversized beard, sunglasses and the camera lenses while utilizing the sort of condescending direction of a bored privileged heir, treating his subjects more as lifeless objects. The photo shoot’s purpose looks to titillate and to eroticize the female form, that is until Amy emerges from behind the curtains, sporting an oversized bra and a prosthetic vagina that she puts on a proud display. Both the model and Amy pose in standard pornographic poses, but Amy’s animated showcase diminishes any kind of stimulation that the photographer may have had prior to her entrance. His annoyance is even more present when the girls decide to start passing gas and it’s not in the silent but deadly fashion. The girls find themselves amusing, not needing any male to make their night. This scene alone holds the heart of the movie, the bare foundation of a movie that feels so raw, so unrehearsed yet full of artistic integrity. Filled with a combination of fictional narrative and real life experiences, the film takes a look at a damaged woman and her way of dealing with the trauma she had previously experienced.

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