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‘Consent’ big hit with December, 2016 judges and T.G.I.M. audience


tgim-hosts-eric-raddatz-and-melissa-de-haven-08Each month, at least one of the films screened by hosts Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven during Thank God for Indie Monday (T.G.I.M.) has a twist ending, and that was certainly true this past Monday night with Consent. Unlike the multitude of same-name indie films, this Consent was not about sexual assault, date rape or HIV/AIDS. Rather, it was a story about a clinically depressed young woman who invites an internet-met tgim-hosts-eric-raddatz-and-melissa-de-haven-12stranger into her home because she wants to commit suicide but does not have the emotional strength to off herself. They agree he will do the deed by smothering her with a pillow so that her death will appear natural, but agree that if she taps his arm twice, he’ll abort. But as he presses the pillow down around her nose and mouth, he takes increasingly greater pleasure as her struggles become more frantic and she taps harder and harder in her efforts to get him to stop. But, finally, he does relent and when she tells him she can’t go through with their plans because she wants to live after all, he holds her gaze with his, smiles, and says, “It’s no fun killing someone who wants to die.” And that’s how the film ends.

gina-birch-04It took a moment for celebrity judge Gina Birch to collect her thoughts as she took the microphone from Eric Raddatz to express her thoughts. “At first I wondered if he was simply being altruistic, but when he said that, I swear, the goosebumps started,” she said pointing to her lower legs, “and they went all the way up and they’re still there.” It was so creepy in Birch’s estimation that it was brilliant. “It was an impactful film.”

Shawn Guenther appreciated both the acting and cinematography. “I was expecting him to turn on her,” Shawn shawn-guenther-10confided, “but I didn’t expect him to say that and then have the film just suddenly end.” Nor did anyone in the T.G.I.M. audience, who split roughly down the middle on whether he killed her, let her live or they two of them had wild, crazy sex (actually, that was Raddatz’s theory).

One audience member suggested that beyond the fine acting and technical merits of Consent was a broader message about addiction. The reason the young woman says she wants to die is because she just cannot go on living without her sister, who died of a drug overdose. “We all audience-participation-december-tgim-10suffer or know people who suffer from addiction. She wanted to die to be with her sister, but in the end, he taught her a really big lesson. You don’t really want to die, too, and your sister may not have wanted to die either.”

Another audience member confessed that the acting was so riveting, the storyline so compelling and the ending so intense, he had to leave the room. Although he felt the actress in the film was off-the-chain good, what he found particularly audience-participation-december-tgim-06unsettling was “how many times had he may have done this before.”

The film also got to entertainer Al Holland, who picked up on an aspect of the final sequence that many noticed but no one had previously verbalized. “One thing I noticed was the vein popping out in his forehead,” noted Big Al of the actor during the scene where the young man audience-participation-december-tgim-02straddles the girl and holds her pillow over her face. “That really showed the intensity of the moment,” said Holland, who rated Consent a Five.

Missed T.G.I.M.? Well, shame on you! There are only two more T.G.I.M.s before the 7th Annual Fort Myers Film Festival in March. Don’t miss any more. And if you want to see what all the fuss was about in connection with Consent, well, there’s a good chance you will see this indie during the festival’s four-day run. The Fort Myers Film Festival opens March 8 and runs through the 12th. It’s not too early to lock in your tgim-hosts-eric-raddatz-and-melissa-de-haven-16VIP tickets now.

December 5, 2016.

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