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Femme Filmmakers Festival: Special Podcast with Kate Lefoe / Plunge Review

Two women (Juliet Hindmarsh & Jeni Bezuidenhout) go into the countryside together to have fun at a lake, but then something inexplicable happens. The viewer is plunged straight into the action. It’s a bright, sunny day. Two women leave their car and run into the wild, laughing. They seem happy, free-spirted and care-free. They are ready to enjoy a day of splashing around in the water and sunning themselves on the shore. There’s also a dare involved. Are they both ready to leap into the water from the top of a small cliff? And will their relationship survive the jump?

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The setting is idyllic. The location with its natural beauty is stunning to look at. The location is isolated, undisturbed by the modern world. This is the closest to an utopia that we can get. Light glances brightly off the leaves, bouncing off the surface of the water. The camera, at first hurtling through the trees taking in the environment,  before slowing down to take in these scenes at leisure. Time is treated differently here. Indeed, young love feels timeless. However, all good things must come to an end.

Lefoe invites viewers, to appreciate the film on a metaphorical level, asking them to come to their own conclusions about what has taken place. It is a bold decision and one that indicates Lefoe maturity and sophistication as a filmmaker. The event that occurs is alarming and somewhat frightening to say the least. The viewer is left with the thought of  terror of having to embrace the unknown. It is a fear shared by many, the fear of plunging into the unknown and accepting the responsibility for our actions.

The premise is simple but unnerving as there was no explanation for what takes place, it just occurs and one of the characters we assume has to live with the consequences. Sometimes things just occur in life with very little explanation and we can either allow it to stop us dead in our tracks or keep moving forward regardless.  The actions of one of the women seems hard to comprehend but who are we to question her behaviour?

Lefoe asks us to question whether we would behave in the same way, or if you would do more, try harder, to retrieve what has been lost, to go back to the way things were. There’s a change in the colour scheme, with the colours becoming muted and dull after the plunge has taken place, which helps to show the aftermath of what has occurred. The ending is also left open, as there’s no easy answers here. The ultimate question is, what does the film mean to you?

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This is a haunting little film no matter how one looks at it, Plunge makes the water look lovely, inviting even. However, there is trouble brewing not far beneath the surface. The two main leads give a strong performance and have excellent on-screen chemistry. Overall, Plunge is a very intelligent film, which plays with form, structure and time. It is highly creative, and will leave you in awe. There’s so much more here underneath the surface, so are you ready to take the Plunge?

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