As she describes her marriage in a matter of fact manner, she reflects on a time when Gillooly purposely jammed her hand in the car door in an attempt to escape him, Supertramp’s melodramatic song ‘Goodbye Stranger’ softly plays. This is a consistent theme throughout the duration of the film. Later, after another conflict, Gillooly forces her into his car drives away only to be pulled over by officials. With Harding’s face obviously injured and covered in blood, Gillooly sweet talks his way out of trouble and drives off without suspicions or detection.
He executed male privilege by expecting sex on demand and when denied sexually assaulted her, demanded that she does all the domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning and demonstrated jealous and possessive tendencies.
The film’s representation of domestic violence (DV) was delivered with a comical edge to contradict the serious nature of their relationship. From a sociological standpoint, it can be argued that gender roles were negatively reinforced, emphasising traditional values, whilst conceptualising and misrepresenting violence against women.
Gillespie’s use of music and cinematic framing techniques manipulate raw realities of domestic violence and lighten the mood through humour and juxtaposition. In reflection to her relationship with Gillooly, Harding stated, “He was the first boy I ever loved… The only catch was, he beat the living hell out of me.” At this moment Romeo and Juliet, ‘Dire Straits sombre’ plays while Harding is being hit repeatedly. Imagery moves through a cycle of physical brutality to passionate reconciliations between the pair; an accurate representation of reality in an abusive relationship and the complexities of cycles consistent with domestic violence.
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