OF MASQUERADE AND RHYMES
Drama, Romance, 11 min
Log line: Have you ever blown out a match before it burned down to your fingertips?
love is love, love is powerful, and love always makes for a good story…
Love is tricky. When does it ever come neatly packaged? When does it ever come when we want it to? Almost never. Of Masquerade and Rhymes is essentially a story of a vicious cycle of love being lost and found again in the most unexpected of circumstances. I greatly appreciate that at the centre of this story are two older women, which is not often seen in LBTQ film and this representation is a delight to see on screen. Question is, do older women make better decisions? All bets are off when it comes to the power of love, and I enjoyed that this film dared to explore the moral grounds of falling in love with a married woman yet all the while did not take it lightly.
Of Masquerade and Rhymes is a short film based on the play of the same title by PS Lorio. The story was adapted for screen by Laura Henderson and PS Lorio and directed by Laura Henderson and Sarah MacLean. It tells the tale of Jesse (played by Laura Henderson) and Hannah (Stefani Lynn Wallace) who meet at a writer’s poetry group that Jesse is hosting in an effort to move on from the unexpected and tragic loss of her last girlfriend. From the first meeting, both women share an undeniable connection so strong that even other group members notice and refrain from returning to the next meeting. Thereafter a love affair ensues that is befitting of the title of a poetic masquerade, much to the disproval of Calvin (Jack Pinto), Jesse’s best friend.
Rather than focus on the unbridled burning desire or drama between two women having an affair or over-romanticising their relationship as some films tend to do, this film sheds light on the vulnerability of someone who’d already had their heart-broken and the inner turmoil of a woman stuck in a marriage who has fallen in love with someone else. In the context of the love story, it is almost irrelevant that the two leads are women and that is of great value if we want to see representation, across the board, for relationships between any gender. I have purposefully not mentioned the outcome of this relationship so as not to spoil the ending for any potential viewers but I do feel that this film did handle the writing and arc of the main characters in a respectful and believable way that made it pleasant viewing. My one contention with the film would be the portrayal of Calvin as I found him to be overly judgemental and unsympathetic as a best friend. Who knows, perhaps Jesse has an affinity to tough love after all.
When it comes to moral dilemmas the crux of the matter is how the story is told and whether the viewer is able to empathise with the wrongdoer and relate to the characters. In my humble opinion, within merely 11 minutes, Of Masquerade and Rhymes does well to highlight the complexity of characters that might find themselves in impossible situations such as this love affair and shows how the love between two women can be beautiful, all-consuming, and heart-breaking. Ultimately, love is love, love is powerful, and love always makes for a good story.
Light in Dark Places is another film with similar themes of love, loss, and masking the truth – you can also catch that on the Lesflicks Video-On-Demand platform: https://lesflicksvod.com/programs/light-in-dark-places-2019
Watch the trailer
This article was written by:
Reviewer & Writer
Ping believes in the power of love and kindness, and that "love is love" no matter what shape or form it comes in. She would like to see positive representation for all walks of life in film and media.