She’s Lost Control
Written and directed by: Anja Marquardt
Sex surrogacy is not a topic often explored in film. In Ben Lewin’s dramedy “The Sessions”, we had it shown to us in a touching, often humorous light. That is not the case in writer/director Anja Marquardt’s debut feature film “She’s Lost Control”. Here, we are given something much darker, but also more real to life.
Ronah (Bloom) is a grad student working towards her masters in behavioral psychology, and working as an unlicensed sex surrogate to pay the bills. We are shown a handful of sessions with her and her clients, but it is her interactions with Johnny (Menchaca) that the film focuses on. Johnny was referred to Ronah by her professional mentor Dr. Alan Cassidy (Boutsikaris), and has not only major issues with intimacy but also the emotional baggage of caring for his handicapped sister.
Right away, we can see that Johnny, although having the look of a wounded puppy, is constantly on the verge of a violent outburst. He frequently screams at himself, hits himself, and utters things to Ronah like “I want to strangle you.”. Nevertheless, Ronah is bound and determined to break through and help Johnny. Even when given an out by Dr. Cassidy, she tells him “I don’t want to give up on him.”.
Watching Ronah, you immediately understand why she is so confident in her ability to help the men she works with. She is very warm and affectionate, and seemingly always knows exactly what to say to positively affect their mindset. The problems occur when the professional boundaries begin to disappear, between her and Johnny, and her own real emotions enter the picture.
Marquardt does an impeccable job at contrasting themes in her story. In Ronah’s private life, she is emotionally detached from her disabled mother and over-burdened brother. Yet, in her profession, she genuinely seems to connect with her “Patients”. Even Johnny, as a character, has two very different sides to his personality. One minute, he seems tender and in need of nothing more than someone to love him, and the next you are practically screaming at the screen for Ronah to run before he murders her.
The film deftly swims in and out of different emotional currents all the way to the dark, somewhat open-ended finale. Marquardt definitely puts it on her audience to answer most of the films questions, and for me that was not at all a bad thing. In fact I really enjoyed “She’s Lost Control”. It was well written, and beautifully shot. The acting is superb by both leads, and the story the film tells is original and intriguing. Really my only complaint would be that often the film felt a bit too detached from the emotional weight of it’s own subject matter, taking on an almost documentary-like vibe. Over though a wonderful film that should be seen by lovers of art house indie films.
Watch trailer here –
The film is now available on demand at the link below