Directors: Chris and Ben Blaine
Cast: Abigail Hardingham, Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Cian Barry
Running Time: 98 minutes
A bloody and beautiful tale of grief, indifference and the inability to let go, Chris and Ben Blaine‘s macabre comic drama NINA FOREVER perfectly pictures a side to life and love had Richard Curtis wrote the script for a rom-con directed by David Cronenberg.
How the first-time writing and directing brothers have managed to make something so strange and so believable is a true testament to their talents. Talents that have obviously been finely tuned given the number of short films and television work they’ve been involved in over the course of their short career.
Pitch black comedy oozes out of this genius little indie which follows the blossoming courtship of supermarket colleagues Rob and Holly. Hold on I hear you cry! What about this Nina? It’s NINA FOREVER, right? Well, she’s very much a part of this “fucked up fairytale” as the poster puts it. As much as the two new lovers struggle with her contribution to this bizarre love triangle, the fact that she’s recently deceased isn’t their biggest problem, nor the blood stained bedsheets, or even when a naked Nina sarcastically comes out to taunt them whenever they get intimate.
Rob’s unsuccessful attempt at suicide months prior to him and Holly hooking up means he may not be quite ready to move on. He finds an understanding Holly as a possible answer to his dilemma and the two – or rather three – hit it off right away. Just as Rob slowly begins to overcome his grief, with he and young Holly falling in love, their relationship is complicated further by an awkward, intense, yet incredibly natural revelation.
The Blaine brothers deserve much kudos for making such an emotional concept work, let alone managing to get it past the pitching stage. However, NINA FOREVER is made all the more impressive by the three main leads. While Fiona O’Shaughnessy is hilariously creepy as the bloodied title character, and Cian Barry at times heartbreaking as the still sullen Rob, NINA FOREVER belongs to Abigail Hardingham. She’s hypnotic. Her big, beautiful Bambi-eyes hiding a complicated soul crying out to be needed… only to find the one subjective thing she needs more.
Insanely unique, at times disturbing and funny, touching and poetic, NINA FOREVER is all that and so much more. Try getting it out of your head… and heart.