Let’s begin by saying that Jamie Hooper’s Plastic Love will certainly push some people’s boundaries. Personally, I can applaud this, however, given that Fingercuff Production’s short-film is a self-professed ‘dark and twisted tale of love, loss, obsession and fetishes’, perhaps we can assume that it’s not for the faint-hearted. You’ve had your warning with the words ‘twisted’ and ‘fetishes’, however, what Hooper forgets to mention here is how Plastic Love is also a surprisingly tactful and poignant take on a range of very personal and taboo subjects.
Plastic Love follows three different stories; a young couple with an interest in performing dangerous bondage routines, a man’s loss of sexual interest in his partner being replaced with a sexual fetishism for a pair of her shiny red shoes and, lastly, a widower coming to terms with the loss of her partner through her own sexual release.
Put in the wrong hands, these story-lines could certainly be fodder for some painfully awkward comedic moments and, even worse, could accumulate to being insensitive and ignorant of the taboo subjects it portrays. Luckily, Hooper and the talented cast perform an excellent job of delivering a both tactful and believable portrayal of the three stories, whilst also managing to end the film on a rather serene and positive note.
Whilst not particularly dialogue-heavy, Plastic Love includes a well-needed dose of aesthetically-farcical British humour (running around the garden half-naked brandishing a garden-tool, anyone?) that works well to relieve some of the intensity of the story-lines. However, given the artistic and smart cinematography used throughout, the short-film certainly does not suffer from the small amount of dialogue as it is arguably this very factor that contributes to the film being so poignant.
Although Plastic Love certainly lives up to its own description of being a ‘dark’ tale, it is the intelligent way in which it visually portrays these tales that allows what the characters do to become rather completely normal and even deserving of empathy. Regardless of your opinion on boundary-pushing, acknowledgement should be given to Hooper for relentlessly tackling a group of taboo subject matters in our arguably close-minded society.
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