You’re the shy kid at school with a small group of friends, you’re not hated but you’re not exactly popular. Then, a new, good looking and very cool student moves in from America. Somehow, a relationship blossoms and you two end up together. What could be wrong? Well, lots.
Heart’s Ease is a discussion of taboo, and dark secrets. From experienced short film producer but first time director Jassa Ahluwalia, Heart’s Ease is as shocking as it is beautiful. Rarely do you see a more confusing piece of film. Such a beautiful love and a beautiful story on screen leaves you gasping as taboo comes to life. I didn’t know what to think. Rarely have I been taken on such a cinematic rollercoaster, and all within 15 minutes.
Ahluwalia has shown his guns, and shown his glory. This is an incredible directorial debut. I’m trying to compare it in my head to other shorts, and other romances as I write this review and even compare and contrast Ahluwalia with other directors. Yet, I’m left thinking it’s unfair to compare or lesson work by quoting this and that influence. Heart’s Ease has its own emotion, and its own style, and I don’t want to diminish Ahluwalia’s success by rambling on about someone else.
If I were to compare it to short films it is both the same and the opposite to my all-time favourite, Oscar Sharp’s Sign Language. Sign Language was a Bafta short listed film and won the Virgin media grand prize and has stuck with me ever since I saw it in a Picturehouse cinema as a Virgin media short preceding the trailers. Sign language is beautiful, I love the couple, and I love the characters. I had the same feeling throughout most of Heart’s Ease. Yet, where Sign language left me buzzing and full of sunshine and rainbows; Heart’s Ease took my love the characters and twisted it. I loved it.
The decision to cast your own sister in a role is probably one I’d never make. Especially, for such a taboo topic, but both Ramanique Ahluwalia and Scott Chambers (Porters & Malevolent), who make up our taboo couple give real and powerful performances. I can see Ahluwalia making feature debuts in the not too distant future and hopefully Chambers can continue to climb the ladder.
The lighting throughout Heart’s Ease was dark and off colour, but not dingy. Its brightness fit the tone and the impending doom, and the shots were personal and close and almost point of view. It made you feel as if you were in their heads, sharing their emotions.
Heart’s Ease made its festival debut in Ahluwalia home town of Leicester at the Short Cinema festival in August 2018 with a budget of only £30k and is a recommended short by me. Also check out Ahluwalia’s website for his other short Modern Man which he produced and maybe one day Heart’s Ease will be there too. You can check out the trailer below.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.