A stalker stalks a stalker in dark Hastings thriller
My One and Only will be shown at the Electric Palace, Hastings, on January 21 at 7.30pm with a Q&A afterwards with director Jonathan, actress Bindu de Stoppani and producer Natasha Murphy.
Shot in Hastings, Winchelsea and Rye, it features Melissa Woodbridge who worked on The Angel for Netflix; Simon Slater, a West End actor who was in Mamma Mia for four years; and Dan March who worked on Miranda on BBC1. It tells the tale of a single woman, a married man and a stalker in a love triangle of obsession played out in our invasive world of constant, instant communication. Laura is devastated when her married lover Ben ends their relationship. Scorned and bent on vengeance, she starts to date Noah whom she met on a dating app. What follows is a cautionary tale about the terrifying impossibility of escaping someone who insists on staying connected, Jonathan says.
“I wrote the screenplay. The original piece was a Radio 4 play by Dawn King who is a very up and coming playwright. She is really quite something. I've actually shot this film twice, once in Brazil in Portuguese. I was living there and I was looking for something to shoot that was controllable and containable. I used to listen to all the Radio 4 plays and this really caught my attention. I contacted her agent to see if I could get the rights to it and they said yes to the Brazilian version. She saw the Brazilian one. We moved back to the UK and I said to her would she mind if I did it in the UK and in English. She said yes, fine.
“It is 79 minutes long and it's a dark thriller. It's about a woman that has a married lover but goes on the internet to spite this married lover. But the new guy starts stalking her but at the same time she's basically stalking her ex-lover. It's a stalker stalking a stalker and it's really quite interesting to see what happens. When I said to Dawn ‘Obviously it's about stalking’, she said ‘No, it's about loneliness, the lonelineness of the lady protagonist and the lengths that she will go to to be in a relationship.’
"At the end of the film you don't really like her. It was a very difficult balance in the shooting. You've got to have some empathy with her so that you go on the journey with her but at the same time she does some things that are neither good nor nice... but you can understand why she does them.
“What is interesting is that when we have done screenings, having shot the Brazilian version, and talked to people about it afterwards, you get people saying, whether they are male or female, that they know somebody who has once behaved in a similar way, somebody who's made that extra telephone call when they should have realised that you are really not interested.”
The point is that the lady protagonists is really not aware of the fact that she is in fact stalking her ex.
“It's made as a low budget independent film and it will have a very limited theatrical release which we've got to do because of the way the film is funded but over the last year we have been going around the film festivals where we've just been seeing what it does.”
The hope is to release it on a streaming platform, probably Prime or Apple, probably towards the middle of this year.