- 1 hr 27 min
Title: Zelos (2017) Starring: Ben Mortley, Shannon Ashlyn, Ainslie McGlynn Written and directed by Jo-Anne Brechin, "Zelos" is a compelling and thought-provoking drama that delves into the complex dynamics of relationships, personal identity, and the pursuit of happiness. This Australian independent film captures the universal struggles faced by individuals in their quest for fulfillment and personal growth. With a talented cast led by Ben Mortley, Shannon Ashlyn, and Ainslie McGlynn, "Zelos" paints an intimate and relatable portrait of a man attempting to find balance amidst the pressures of modern life.
The story revolves around Bernie, played by Ben Mortley, a loving husband and dedicated father who seems to have it all. However, beneath the surface, Bernie is burdened by an incessant need to please everyone and a relentless desire for perfection. His obsession with being the ideal husband, father, and provider begins to take a toll on his mental and emotional well-being. Struggling to reconcile his own desires and dreams with the expectations placed upon him by society, Bernie finds himself at a crossroads.
Unbeknownst to his family and friends, Bernie decides to embark on a risky venture that involves embracing a secret life. He joins a support group for compulsive overachievers, where he meets the enigmatic Vivian (Shannon Ashlyn), an alluring woman seeking her own version of personal satisfaction. As their lives become intertwined, Bernie finds himself torn between the comfort of his existing life and the temptation of a different, more liberating path.
As the narrative unfolds, "Zelos" explores the complexities of human relationships, the choices we make, and the consequences that arise from them. Bernie's journey prompts viewers to reflect on the nature of identity and the sacrifices we make to fulfill others' expectations. The film avoids clichés and draws attention to the societal pressure for individuals to conform, while examining the toll it can take on mental health and overall happiness.
The performances in "Zelos" are exceptionally nuanced and deeply authentic. Ben Mortley delivers a compelling portrayal of Bernie's internal struggle, showcasing his vulnerability and the bewildering range of emotions he experiences. Shannon Ashlyn offers a captivating performance as Vivian, capturing the character's complexity and magnetic presence. Ainslie McGlynn provides a heartfelt depiction of Bernie's wife, 'Zoe,' who becomes gradually aware of the growing distance within their relationship.
Director Jo-Anne Brechin masterfully navigates this delicate subject matter, embracing a sensitive and introspective approach. Through her skilled storytelling, Brechin invites audiences to reconsider their own ambitions, priorities, and the often-unseen consequences of our choices. The film's pacing flawlessly balances moments of tension and introspection, allowing viewers to connect deeply with the characters and their struggles. Brechin's distinct visual style, complemented by stunning cinematography, further enhances the emotional impact of each scene.
"Zelos" presents a universal theme that will resonate with viewers from all walks of life. Its exploration of the human condition, personal fulfillment, and the quest for happiness is as relevant today as it was upon its release. Brechin's compelling narrative, combined with the exceptional performances by the cast, creates a captivating and thought-provoking cinematic experience that challenges viewers to question their own choices and the pursuit of societal expectations.
In conclusion, "Zelos" is a beautifully crafted drama that offers a candid and profound examination of the pressures faced by individuals trying to navigate the demands of modern society. With its exceptional performances, sensitive direction, and thought-provoking themes, the film provides a poignant and relatable exploration of personal identity, the complexities of relationships, and the pursuit of happiness.
Zelos is a 2018 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.