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The Independent Critic

Robyn Lee Tustin, Christie Russell-Brown, David McCrae, Mariel McAllan, Iain Leslie, James Boal, Calum Douglas Barbour
Simon Fox
14 Mins.

 "The Cruelty of Beauty" Looks at the Other Side of Being Beautiful 

Sarah Fall (Robyn Lee Tustin) is an up-and-coming model in writer/director Simon Fox's 14-minute short film The Cruelty of Beauty, a look at the other side of beauty in a society that values it, is jealous of it, laughs at it, and boldly possesses it.

The Cruelty of Beauty looks at how different people react toward her due to her ambitions, the positive and negative ways in which people view models and modelling, from supportive friends to jealous boyfriends, possessive fans to inspired admirers. Occasionally insightful and always benefitting from Robyn Lee Tustin's disciplined performance, The Cruelty of Beauty also occasionally is hindered by an aura of self-importance and heightened drama that works against the subject matter rather than humanizing it. While this could just be the bitter ramblings of an ugly ole' man, I think it's much more likely to be an observation that there are times in The Cruelty of Beauty that the film seems to contradict itself, partly owing to Scott Mungin's overwrought score that amplifies the already pointedly dramatic and intentional script.

The scenes play out as one might expect, not quite achieving the level of a cliche' but dancing on that line. The Cruelty of Beauty presents a valuable discussion - I just wish it had taken itself a tad less seriously and a lot more humanely in doing so. The film, currently on the film festival circuit, should carve a solid niche' on the indie/underground fest circuit.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic