Love’s Innocence Lost (2016)

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If I have one complaint about “Love’s Innocence Lost” is that I could have used at least five more minutes to catch up with the dilemma ocurring in Mike Clarke’s drama. There isn’t so much explanation as to what happened between characters Aaron and Dina, only that there were children involved, and the crime involved something where trust was severely destroyed. I wouldn’t have minded a lot more extrapolation with Paul McGowan’s script in to what was happening and even more hinting as to what went down that could prompt such a conflict of emotions between Aaron and Dina, in the end.

Clarke adds symbolism and implies much of what may have occurred by opening the film in water drenched playground equipment that could indicate something truly heinous occurred. When we meet Aaron and Dina, we watch as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened and how to confront it. I was admittedly never quite sure who I was supposed to be empathizing with and what happened, thus “Love’s Innocence Lost” admittedly left me more baffled in the end rather than emotionally moved. The short also feels like the prologue to a larger narrative, so I hope we get to see it realized somewhere down the road.

That said, Mike Clarke’s film is very well made and with the editing and taut direction, he brings together a tight production with some interesting shots of conflict and emotion. Clarke is a sharp director who creates tension well, I just wish McGowan’s script would have filled us in on a lot more of what was happening and what kind of crime was committed. “Love’s Innocence Lost” is well directed, and the turns by both cast members are top notch, the movie just suffers from the vague narrative that results in an abrupt pacing. “Love’s Innocence Lost” could definitely have stood to add some more back story for the sake of driving home the emotional weight of the scenario.