One thing that Tom Cullen’s Pink Wall, a relationship drama that tracks the origins and demise of a relationship through a select moment in each year of their romance, understands is that people tend to have absolutely no idea what truly motivates their actions. The film’s title serving as the underscored, highlighted, and guiding beacon that demonstrates that life has a particular way of disenchanting us from comfort.
The film stars Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass as a couple that meet in a club and eventually develop a relationship that spans several years. From a formal perspective, Cullen adopts title cards to signal the passage from one year to the next, though frequently reverts back to their first encounter. There’s nothing especially provocative about these time lapses nor is there much rhythm developed in watching this nonlinear romance unfold. He’ll utilize different color palettes, aspect ratios, and lighting techniques to imbue warmth or mute the proceedings, but ultimately these gestures were deployed with much more bravado in Derek Cianfrance’s similar-minded Blue Valentine. Most of Pink Wall’s issues stem from the improv nature of many of its sequences, along with Duplass just coming across as incredibly unconvincing. Maslany fairs slightly better, but her stoicism doesn’t necessarily translate very effectively.
A film of this nature should’ve rung cherries. And while there were several passages throughout that I nodded in recognition, there’s simply a self-consciousness to its design that makes most of Pink Wall a disingenuous disappointment.