The beauty of attending film festivals is the ability to experience movies without anyone spoiling it for you. There’s no trailers or TV spots endlessly being repeated on your favorite sitcom. While we’re treated to a brief sypnosis, the atmosphere is unknown. In the indie scene, there’s often a mumblecore type film. Some succeed, but others try too hard to keep it real. PINK WALL succeeds for the most part, but there are more moments that feel as if you’ve already seen them in a Joe Swanberg film.
Tom Cullen, who starred in the underseen Weekend, makes his directorial debut here with stars Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass as a couple whose relationship we get to be a part of in non-chronological order. PINK WALL focuses on a handful of significant moments in their lives that helped shape their relationship. It opens with an intense moment during lunch with her family where something is triggered in them which points to her wearing the pants in the relationship; as if that’s some kind of insult. He definitely is on the more emotionally vulnerable side, but that help facilitates some of the fresher moments where gender roles are discussed and the expectations in straight relationships are questioned.
Maslany is highly underrated, especially after playing who knows how many roles in the BBC series Orphan Black, but here she knows less is more. Her eyes often say enough to the camera without a word being spoken, yet she’s easy to emphasize with. She’s a modern woman with ambition and refuses to conform to what’s expected from adult women. Duplass does his best with what he’s given but feels almost put to the side to allow Maslany to shine. PINK WALL is for those interested in the sub-genre, but won’t play well for everyone.