The One You Feed starts with little dialogue. It is a conceit it never moves away from as it attempts to tell its intimate tale. The film is about a Stranger who is mysteriously injured while in the woods. As a Man and Woman nurse him back to health, he is caught up in a displaced world of lust, anger, and deceit. Along the way he also finds love.
Producer Gareth Koorzen (who also stars as Stranger) has stated that one of the ideas behind the film was to normalize sexuality and remove labels. To this end, none of the characters are named. The idea is for the The One You Feed to depict sexual expression in its most raw and beautiful form. A strong sense of desire runs through the entire film.
In order for this to work, the audience has to feel one way or another for the people in the film. Initially, The One You Feed makes this difficult. The lack of exposition means it is difficult to understand motivations and desires. Thankfully, The One You Feed is filled with expressive performances. Rebecca Frasier is especially good in her role as Woman. She brings an energy to the film that is sometimes lacking.
The reliance on emotion over discourse gives the story a very dream-like quality. This decision from Director Drew Harwood (he also wrote the screenplay and stars as Man) gives an added layer to The One You Feed. The love story between Man and Stranger takes on a deeper meaning. While there is some romance novel costuming in some scenes, the attraction between the two comes off the screen.
The One You Feed is not the typical story of two men falling in love. There is an almost unattainable quality to what they obviously feel for each other. It makes each interaction more meaningful. Unfortunately, the darker elements of the movie do not work as well. There simply is not enough groundwork laid. The One You Feed is filled with drawn out scenes that could have been used for story building.
This is seen most in the ending of the film. It comes out of nowhere not in spite of its strong build, but due to the lack of one. Ultimately, this may have been the point of the entire movie. The final moments do a great job of getting across a yearning that cannot be filled. Still, it is hard to shake the feeling that the fantastic love story is undermined.
The One You Feed will be available on digital HD, cable, and satellite platforms December 29
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