Love is a Hand Grenade

Comedy, Drama, 13 min



…this short film goes from humour to intimacy and eventually to tragedy in no more than 13 minutes.

Love is a Hand Grenade, a short film by Jessica Benhamou, starring Genesis Lynea and Saffron Hocking is a concentrated mini-drama. Dialogue based and set more or less in a single room, this short film tackles quite a few issues, from mental health, failed relationships, a problematic friendship, and unexplored sexuality. It is currently streaming at BFI Flare if I made you curious, if not, keep reading.

For a film set in a single room, build around dialogue, it is unexpectedly dynamic. Alexis (Saffron Hocking) and Gabby (Genesis Lynea) get back to the latter’s home after a night out. It’s never laid out what has passed before entering the house, but it’s safe to assume they had a wild night as they’re talking about alcohol, drugs and being kicked out of a club. The two of them are completely different, from the way they dress to the way they act, to the stability of their romantic relationships, but they are close friends for what looks like forever. Gabby is rational, responsible, has a stable relationship with her fiancé, while Alexis is wild, reckless, passionate, but overwhelming and true to herself. She wants a love that is all-consuming, always too much and never enough. She seems to accept, embrace even, her bipolar disorder and is unapologetically her exuberant self. They share a bed and it’s not hard to imagine what follows. We only see the aftermath, the morning after. As expected, Alexis is open about it, she enjoyed the ride and doesn’t see it as affecting their friendship, while Gabby can barely confront her friend or the memory of their sexual affair. She’s tormented, torn and her interior pain is paralleled with an actual wound she gets after they break a bottle of wine. Her bleeding foot is a strong visual metaphor for the anguish she’s in and for the loss of balance, she’s going through. Her reality seems to have become unstable; her friendship is more than a friendship or no longer a friendship at all and where does this leave her engagement?

Love is a Hand Grenade is a well-constructed short drama, despite it being only 13 minutes long. Both characters are fleshed out and the script feeds enough information for the viewer to understand their history and mindsets while keeping the dialogue natural, organic, convincing. I thoroughly enjoyed this exploration of desire, boundaries, friendship, responsibility, sexuality in this short film that goes from humour to intimacy and eventually to tragedy in no more than 13 minutes. Did I want it to be longer? Yes, I did, but it works just fine as it is.

For another friendship that finds itself on eggshells after a wild night, watch Treacle on our VOD platform.


This article was written by:

Maria Mantaluta

Maria Mantaluta

Reviewer, writer and superstar

Maria is a Romanian art and film lover, with degrees in art history and media. She enjoys volunteering for various film and art events, as well as being a part of vibrant, diverse teams. She has a passion for writing and hopes to turn her passions, interests and actual degrees into a profession.

Pronouns: She/Her