Like a House on Fire

After going through treatment for postpartum depression, Dara (Sarah Sutherland – from television’s Veep) returns home to reconnect with her daughter and husband. Only once she is there she realizes that Danny (Jared Abrahamson – appeared in episodes of Letterkenny and Fear the Walking Dead) has moved on and her young daughter does not even remember her. Danny is living with another woman (Dominique Provost-Chalkley – from televison’s Wynonna Earp) who is pregnant. Things are not going exactly as she planned and that puts her mental health back in jeopardy. Will her attempt to get the life she once knew back going exact too high a price?

Nothing in Jesse Noah Klein’s (We’re Still Together) is simple. Just like life. It is hard and often messy. After a few years away, Dara cannot just step back into her family’s lives. No matter how much she wants to. Life does not tend to have a bow tied around it. It requires work and causes pain occasionally. That is what being a human is all about.

Realism is high on the list here. The dialogue isn’t polished or sounding like it was written by Walt Whitman. Hair not perfect and wardrobe not straight out of Vogue. This is a film about mental health and that in today’s world almost everyone we know is affected by it. It seems like it is not only the planet which is falling apart due to the ravages of modern life.

Anxiety rears its ugly head for Dara. She has been working towards one goal for two years – reuniting with her family – and that is not working out. Her illusion of being “better” begins to crumble around her. She is a parent, but is she truly ready to take on the hardest of jobs?

Some of the problem here is that she hasn’t accepted the fact that she has to move on from her past. It is the only way Dara is going to survive intact. Working her way through that guilt is not going to be easy. Actress Sutherland does a great job portraying the woman going through this. The pain is all over her face and even in the way she moves her body. Depicting how what is actually going on is far from the thin “I am together” veneer which Dara has covered her true self with.

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