She’s Lost Control (2015)

EPSON MFP image

twohalfstar

It’s difficult to tell exactly how much of my disinterest in She’s Lost Control has to do with my personal tastes, which lean towards excess over understatement, but there really isn’t much in this film for me to recommend. I didn’t exactly expect a bright, ecstatic affair from a drama about a sex worker ostensibly named after a Joy Division song, but She’s Lost Control still surprised me in just how lowkey & somber it could be from scene to scene. I didn’t particularly loathe the film at any point during its melancholy proceedings, but I didn’t engage with it much either.

As a sexual surrogate, the protagonist Ronah toes the line between therapy & sex work. She doesn’t have johns; she has patients. Early on in the film, when she proclaims “You pay me for my time but you can’t control how I feel” (in a speech she apparently delivers often), she’s already establishing that her clients are men towards which she has an incredibly vulnerable potential for emotional attachment. These are broken men with deep-seeded intimacy issues (such as a difficulty being undressed in front of a partner or a mental block when it comes to physical contact) that Ronah attempts to coax out of their well-guarded shells. Her vulnerability in these scenarios reaches a breaking point late in the film that feels simultaneously inevitable & brutally cruel.

There’s a lot of potential in these fragile, intimate moments, but first-time director Anja Marquardt does very little to tie their meanings into something more than “These things happen.” I’m sure that this was a deliberate choice & it’s one backed up by a similarly somber visual aesthetic, but I still found very few memorable moments in the final product, despite the great potential. Other folks more tuned-in to the gloomy, low-key indie drama as a genre might find something much more fulfilling here, but for me She’s Lost Control was essentially a gray wash of uncomfortable intimacy that signified little more than how cruel people can sometimes be when you make yourself vulnerable before them.

-Brandon Ledet

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