Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Plot: Catherine (Sarah Roy) craves the perfect family life with husband Dan (Tom Cullen). However, when she discovers that her husband is hiding a dark secret her irrational reaction causes her life to turn upside down especially when her own secrets from the past threaten to consume her.
Review: Zebra Girl is directed by Stephanie Zari and based on the play Catherine and Anita by Derek Ahonen. Actress Sarah Roy reprises her stage role of Catherine in this film. Zebra Girl starts off as a dark, comedic thriller only to veer into the realm of a gripping psychological story about the struggles of mental illness sparked on by the trauma of abuse.
This film will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea because there is a lot going on in the background in terms of representations of the protagonist’s mental struggles. There is a major contrast in the colour schemes which is a representation of Catherine’s internal battle of wanting to have a normal, loving family in a rural setting, which is shown in the pink and purple tones. But always lingering in the background like a shadow is her mental illness and distrust of men (specifically her husband Dan) which is shown with washed-out greys and blue tones.
Catherine suffers from schizophrenia, and this is displayed in an array of confused emotions causing her such mental turmoil to the point where the audience can become a bit confused as to what is real and what’s not. However, if you chose to stick with it, the story development is quite good, though the result can leave you with a sense of both sadness and hope that perhaps Catherine will be able to finally get the professional help that she deserves.
Zebra Girl is definitely not your run-of-the-mill thriller since it takes on such a psychological tone with its emphasis on mental illness. But, for the audience that’s up to the mental (pardon my pun) challenge it can be an entertaining 80 minutes. Yep, you heard right, it’s a short film, but extremely impactful in sharing the message of the existence of the ongoing struggles of mental illness as well as the struggle of trying to live a normal life in spite of trauma from childhood abuse.
Alice’s Score: 7 out of 10
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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More