For BLAME – FORBIDDEN DESIRE Debutant director Quinn Shephard stages the well-known theme of the forbidden love between teacher and student for a current generation of young people. The filmmaker, who was 21 at the time of filming, displayed a remarkable routine. We’ll reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
After a long illness, quiet Abigail (Quinn Shephard) ventures back to school for the first time. She has barely arrived when she has to endure the provocations of her manipulative classmate Melissa (Nadia Alexander). When Abigail is chosen by her new, attractive substitute teacher Jeremy (Chris Messina) for the leading role in the coveted school play, the two become rivals. The beginning rapprochements between Abigail and her teacher play into Melissa’s hands. She will use any means necessary to fight Abigail. Even if it brings dark secrets to light.
Movie explanation of the ending
As a teacher, having an illegal love affair with a student is the material that has inspired many filmmakers to create their own interpretation. For example, he helped the crime series “Tatort” become even more popular in 1977 – to this day, the episode “Maturity Certificate” is one of the most controversial in the franchise’s history. From the star-studded drama (“Diary of a Scandal”) to the comedy (“Election”) to the 19-part porn series (“Big Tits at School”), the fascination for the forbidden love between young and old has long since touched all genres and seems to be the case to have lost a bit of popularity in recent years; At some point everything will be told. But the trend that has flared up since the controversial Netflix series “Dead Girls Don’t Lie” to explore the depths of the school microcosm inspired the director and actress Quinn Shephard to perhaps not exactly have a new, but certainly modern, theme Open page. Her very confidently staged debut “Blame – Forbidden Desire” tells of two feuding girls whose hatred for each other becomes even greater when one of them gets involved in a relationship with the charismatic acting teacher Jeremy. As a film about school as a gauntlet run through the trials and tribulations of growing up, there have been much better ones in the past, but the subplot surrounding the secret affair between teacher and student gives the whole thing a breath of fresh air and ultimately gives “Blame” its reputation “worth seeing”.
Melissa (Nadia Alexander) suspects that something is going on…
Quinn Shepherd (“Midnight Sun”) is probably what is colloquially called a “child prodigy”. She was in front of the camera for the first time at the age of five, directed her first short film at the age of twenty and started planning for “Blame” just a year later. The fact that Shephard also gave herself one of the two main roles speaks for the huge ambitions of Mimin, a native of New Jersey, who – of course – also wrote the script for the film herself. There is talent in this woman. And even if her first directorial effort doesn’t have the genius factor of “Whiplash” or any other groundbreaking debut, it’s almost remarkable how experienced Shephard plays the keyboard of teen drama; as if she had never done anything else. It starts with the elegant presentation: cameraman Aaron Kovalchik (“I Love You Both”) creates an ominous atmosphere with the help of sparse lighting, clear structures and voyeuristic-looking tracking shots that often stay at a distance, follow the characters or carefully peek around corners and through windows. At the same time, he repeatedly emphasizes the distanced; Nobody seems to be really close here, true to the motto: “Everyone is their own neighbor!” Distrust, envy, fear of one’s own reputation – all of this mixes together at this school to form a kaleidoscope of teenage fears, which – as Shephard resolves over time – do not stop even at the supposed leaders. That’s exciting, because she breaks away from the cliché characters of the outsider, the nerd and the school crush more than many other creatives in the genre – in the end they’re all just trapped in the bodies of pubescent monsters.
Meanwhile, Shephard allows the romance to emerge in “Blame” carefully and without provocative ulterior motives. She tells the story primarily from the student’s point of view, but does not ignore the teacher Jeremy’s thoughts and questions. The fact that she doesn’t exaggerate the scandal inherent in this love affair (instead of spreading throughout the entire school, the rumor only spreads within a small group, which consistently keeps it to themselves for the time being) and concentrates entirely on the people and emotions involved, ” Blame” seem pleasantly calm. At the same time, the script doesn’t really have anything new to add to the topic. Both characters are aware of the precarious circumstances of their budding love, try to hide their feelings for each other publicly and sooner or later have to think about how they will deal with the situation. This isn’t anything new, it’s the feud with the jealous Melissa that spices things up. The fact that it is not entirely clear at first why the two girls are now so hostile turns out to be a well-chosen detail in retrospect: Quinn Shephard does not just emphasize the arbitrariness and banality from which a perpetrator-victim relationship can arise. It also gives the whole thing an impact through its insightful finale, which shows that you should always look at the big picture. Ultimately, Abigail, Jeremy and Melissa are all just cogs in a big machine that influence each other if one of them stops working.
Jeremy (Chris Messina) is unsure how to handle the situation.
In the second half, the film jumps back and forth a little indecisively between the flirtation and Melissa’s plans to go public with her. Only gradually does a well-rounded profile emerge of the young woman, who initially appears simply bitter and anti-social, and “The Sinner” star Nadia Alexander completely immerses herself in her explosive embodiment. While her acting initially seems a bit one-dimensional and only concerned with looking as hateful as possible, she gradually captures the full range of her, above all, tragic character; A scene in a nightclub in which the pretty girl desperately begs for the attention of her male companion and finally even drops her clothes for it speaks volumes. Quinn Shephard plays her role of the reserved Abigail strongly and, through targeted looks and tiny facial movements, helps her achieve an almost unfathomable ambiguity. For a long time we don’t know whether she has actually fallen in love with her teacher or whether she is hatching a plan. Her character is aloof, which explains the lack of access to his classmates – but that’s exactly what makes him exciting and creates a harmonious chemistry in the constellation with the teacher, who is unsure about his feelings. Chris Messina (“Live By Night”) In “Blame” he doesn’t play a seductive dandy, but a completely normal man with needs that the script would have liked to have illuminated in a little more detail. And it is precisely this down-to-earth nature that makes him, quite understandably, an object of desire.
Conclusion: For her feature film debut “Blame – Forbidden Desire”, Quinn Shephard takes no risks and stages a neat-looking and calmly told school drama, which she adds the exciting component of student-teacher love.
“Blame – Forbidden Desire” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from October 18th.