The Shattering is a drama-thriller film written and directed by Daria Nazarova and starring Charlotte Beckett Timothy Ryan Cole and Murisa Harba. The film has a runtime of 77 minutes.
The IMDB description for the film reads:
Claire has everything – money, a loving husband and a desired child. But suddenly her life changes. Doubts and lies bring her to the edge of insanity.
– The Shattering review does not contain spoilers –
Psychological thrillers are dope. I am starting The Shattering review with this because this is essentially a psychological thriller. However slow the movie starts off, it inches towards something sinister as the movie progresses. Sure, it takes some time to pick up its speed, with the initial few minutes taking its time to provide a small background on our protagonist. But, as soon as it finds its rhythm, there’s something here that keeps you interested.
You see, The Shattering’s protagonist is an unreliable narrator. From early on in the movie, you get the distinct impression that something’s wrong with Claire. It’s small things here and there, but it’s enough to keep you guessing. But, since we never get the full picture from her, we are also left to wonder whether what she is imagining has some truth to it.
Most of The Shattering takes place over the course of one morning. However, the film jumps between the past and the present as we get a good amount of flashbacks to go with the story and to provide context to Claire’s mental health. Essentially, we watch Claire’s mental health unravelling before us. She does mundane things as the morning starts, but slowly it turns more and more concerning.
However, mundane and concerning soon turns full-blown dangerous. Claire mostly acts out of desperation. You can see it in her eyes. She wants attention from her husband, Eric. However, how that plays out will make you super uncomfortable. Sometimes you feel bad for Eric, sometimes for Claire, and sometimes you feel angry. Writer-director Daria Nazarova does a good job at bringing the various fragments of Claire’s shattered mind to the forefront. You feel what she feels – the desperation runs through your body as much as it does her.
The Shattering, however, is a slow film. If you’re expecting this movie to be go-go-go from minute 1, then you’re going to be really disappointed. The movie has its moments of confusion since Claire herself cannot remember how certain situations took place. There are, thus, gaps and inconsistencies galore that will make you scratch your head. Additionally, the movie uses a minimum background score, so you’re forced to think and immerse yourself in the words being spoken instead of the music giving you cues as to what to expect.
When The Shattering comes close to its end, we finally have a clear idea about what actually is going on. I think the movie cleverly talks about Claire’s descent into chaos within an hour. It, thus, also nicely portrays how vulnerable people with mental health issues are and how quickly things can unravel. The truth in the end is hurtful and awfully sad and you can’t help but feel a bit heartbroken as well as shocked at how things turn out.
Murisa Harba as Claire is really good. She gives a believable performance and you feel bad for her and scared of her at the same time. As we go through an hour of her life with her and go back and forth between then and now, her story becomes immediate and important. On the other hand, Timothy Ryan Cole as Claire’s husband Eric, too, is great. At first, he came out to be the bad person in this tale, but soon enough his character would demand sympathy from the audience.
Summing up: The Shattering
The Shattering is an interesting and arresting indie flick that does a good job at portraying trauma and its after-effects. The performances are great and the movie is shot very nicely. Throughout its runtime, it will keep you guessing as to where it might take you but it’s probably not a place you could’ve guessed. There’s an air of dread all throughout, but the conclusion remains unpredictable till its last minute.
Watch The Shattering here.