Stay With Me

Stay With Me


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

A comedy about the problems that develop after a man accidentally kills his girlfriend might sound like the worst kind of apologist ugliness, but Zoe Berriatúa has taken this difficult premise and created a short film that verges on brilliance. Perfectly balanced its sympathies between two troubled characters, it will resonate with anyone who has struggled to keep a relationship alive long after they should have called the morgue.

Pablo Turégano is Alex - young, opportunistic, almost certainly guilty of the affair with a colleague that he strenuously denies, but essentially a nice guy. Macarena Gómez is his girlfriend - clingy, frustrated, yet understandably unhappy with the way things have been going between them. When she wakes up zombified her reaction is not to be angry or to seek out tasty brains, but to beg Alex to stay with her for just a few more days, just while she gets used to it. After all, it's his fault. She likes to lie curled-up in his arms, staring dead-eyed at the television. She watches him whilst he eats his meals. They both deny that they still love each other, yet we get the feeling nothing much has changed.

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Gómez's physical acting is superb, the ultimate in deadpan comedy, her empty gaze surpassingly soulful. Together with Berriatúa's astute script and steady direction, it makes the film feel utterly realistic, hilarious and horrific. Even simple things like watching children in the park take on multi-layered ominous qualities. Moments of tenderness between the couple are underscored with a viciousness no mere gnashing of teeth could equal. There's a sense that, at any moment, a disaster could occur, and her being dead is only a small part of the equation.

This is a little film with a lot of bite, deserving of a big audience.

Reviewed on: 05 Apr 2012
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When Alex accidentally kills his girlfriend and she won't stay dead, their disintegrating co-dependent relationship just gets worse.

Director: Zoe Berriatúa

Writer: Zoe Berriatúa

Starring: Macarena Gómez, Pablo Turégano, Ona Casamiquela

Year: 2010

Runtime: 21 minutes

Country: Spain


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