SXSW 2019: Pink Wall

Leon (Jay Duplass) and Jenna (Tatiana Maslany) in Pink Wall. Photo Credit: Joseph Ollman.

Pink Wall is an experimental film that marks the transition of Tom Cullen as an actor to that of a director and screenwriter.

This is a film that takes place over the course of six years in Jenna (Tatiana Maslany) and Leon’s (Jay Duplass) relationship.  The story is told by way of flashing back and forth during important moments in their six year relationship.  It may complicate the narrative with regards to following the story but the film ultimately pays off when all is said and done.  When we first meet them, we learn that Leon has a checklist that must be completed before he can leave the house.  Jenna on the other hand is the “enforcer.”  Nobody said relationships would be easy, right?

At its core, Pink Wall is a relationship drama.  Cullen takes us right into the story by offering us a glimpse into Jenna and Leon’s life.  We eventually learn that Jenna is a producer while Leon is a photographer.  The two of them first meet while Leon was DJing at a party that Jenna attended.  This is one of the moments depicted in the film.  Another moment sees them attending a completely improvised dinner party with their friends.  All in all, there are six important moments in their relationship that Cullen chooses to focus on.  Some of these are the type that can make or break a relationship.  Just as with any relationship, things happen that you cannot change.  How you decide to process it–well, that’s a different story altogether.

Utilizing a minimal cast, Cullen does a fine job with experimenting in storytelling.  Cullen takes the Joe Swanberg approach in that it’s not so much a script but a scriptment.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  The basic beats of the film play out as they will–some funnier than others.  One of these moments comes when Leon wants to have sex and goes all out but Jenna isn’t picking up any of the cues.  Pink Wall is not a traditional narrative by any means especially with the constant back and forth.  Both Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass deliver beautiful performances with solid on-screen chemistry.  I especially love the emotion that the two of them bring to their performances.  This is a film that cost 100,000 pounds to shoot over the course of nine days.

Pink Wall is a very intimate film that may just redefine how we should view relationships on screen.  This being said, the film doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre but it’s still quite enjoyable.

CAST:  Tatiana Maslany, Jay Duplass

Pink Wall holds its world premiere during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in the Narrative Spotlight program. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.