I just had the opportunity and immense pleasure to see this independently produced movie. I have never written a movie review, but this movie touched me in so many ways, that I want to give this a try.
My friends, some of whom I've known for 20 years, made The Victim. I met Jennifer Blanc and her lovely mother, Jenise, at Nana's in Santa Monica -- anyone remember that store? Ever since then, Jennifer and Janise have been wearing and buying my clothing designs and have both appeared in countless fashion shows I asked them to be in. They are both beautiful and graceful and so full of life.
Until now, this was our main connection, but now that I saw this movie, I have a new and different respect ad admiration for them.
Jennifer Blanc and her husband Michael Biehn pulled this movie out of their sleeves, so to speak. They produced wrote and filmed it in just eleven days, with 40 to 45 set-ups a day, but you could never tell that from watching it.
The movie is a true "Hold on the edge of your seat" action drama that never lets you forget that you're in a movie theater watching a movie. I have to admit, that I was swallowing tears and choked up, especially when Jennifer (Annie) bangs on the door of Michael Biehn's cabin in the woods, desperately begging to be let in.
Of course, he takes his time before he finally opens his door. Jennifer is a superb actress, who make you feel what she's going through and it's impossible not to love her and root for her.
When they fall in love, they give us one of the greatest sex scenes I have ever seen. They manage to convey their attraction without ever slipping into vulgarity, you know, the kind of love scenes one gets embarrassed to be witness to. It's amazing how they manage to show so little, yet so much.
It's a thriller that will grab your heart. Even the bad guys, the corruptive and murderous cops, have just enough endearing qualities that it's not as easy to accept when they get theirs, what they obviously deserve.
It's one of those independent movies, made by friends, that doesn't make me embarrassed and slip out of the theater as fast as I can, because I don't know what to say.
I cried and laughed and never once checked my iPhone during the movie. And this means a lot. Because to be able to forget that I'm in a theater watching a movie and be so totally engrossed in it that I totally forget that I have a life that needs to be managed and constantly monitored, is the biggest compliment I can think of.
Something else I have NEVER before seen in a movie and totally loved: instead of end credits, they showed pictures and videos of the crew. Very charming and sweet and I imagine that everybody who worked so hard on the movie must have loved to see this.
Go see it! 90 minutes of total oblivion, only watching and rooting for the characters is well worth the admission. Isn't this what really good movies are about? To make you forget about rent and jobs and business and complicated relationships, worries about your kids and your health. I'm in love with The Victim.
Follow Monah Li on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Monah Li