About – A young girl, Ingrid (Sabrina Dickens) has been abused and disowned by her guardians and social workers. As she tries to get her life organised through the new social worker, Ms Murray (Anu Hasan) and a new friend Jade (Brigid Shine). Ingrid tries to build up courage to speak to males her own age, tries to talk and deal with her mental health and abuse.
Is This Now is directed and written by the award winner Joe Scott. Joe focuses on creating music driven features that belong to a genre that has a very niche audience. However, it is a genre that is excelling in the indie industry and with Is This Now showing all the right elements on why this genre excelling.
With that said, Is This Now is Joe’s fourth feature, his third My Lonely Me (2015) and his debut First Time Loser (2012). Joe has a very distinctive way of writing and directing. As character’s flow in an out of other characters’ lives this helps the narrative change scenes more easily. More than skipping parts of the day/night around certain characters. This only happens in indie films like this one, due to the easiness of the imagination when writing.
Is This Now touches on issues as previously mentioned about abuse and mental health. Both, key issues which are talking points to the public, families and even politicians. Is This Now doesn’t show graphic images of the abuse. However, we can see the emotional pain on the character’s face and her attitude towards males. The mental strain that the film touches on is that it is not always the person that is affected. It is everyone else around them too.
As stated before, Is This Now and other films directed by Joe Scott are music related. Is This Now has a hint of Sing Street (2016) but rock version. The way the film flows between songs and sticking to a strong narrative for the characters, helps characters express themselves through song and attitude. Ingrid and her friend Jade, have a passion for music with that being song-writing or playing, it lets these characters express their inner feeling about recent events or in this case, of Ingrid’s life.
The ending is very dramatic and extreme, which was very unexpected and out of the ordinary to the rest of the film. Ingrid takes on revenge the social workers that abused her in their own abusive way. However, the way Ingrid was throughout the film, wasn’t the type of character capable to do such drastic harm. Though, with the understanding that someone can only be pushed about for so long, it will have its toll on them. In this instance, Ingrid is frustrated with herself about how she is with this new boy that takes a liking to her and she doesn’t know how to act in front of him because of the past.
Is This Now is a fantastic piece of film that captures the raw emotion of mental health and abuse. It helps viewers see the impact first handily on a personal level with Ingrid trying to be ‘normal’. The film also delivers a message, that if you have something on your mind or been abused then it is ok to talk to someone and not to struggle on your own. Joe Scott has truly captured the right amount of entertainment, information and realism within Is This Now.