BROKEN DIAMONDS (2021)
An emotional roller coaster of a film, Broken Diamonds tackles mental health in a raw, honest way with top-notch performances and and a well-balanced script.
A young writer (Ben Platt) who is about to head abroad to follow his dream is thrown into turmoil when a death in the family leads to him having to take care of his mentally ill sister (Lola Kirke). From the top, it must be said that both Platt and Kirke are phenomenal in this film, their characters brought to life in their own unique ways and their challenging relationship believable and intense. Kirke herself has a heavy lift here as she portrays an individual suffering from schizophrenia, but she puts a face to the disease and challenges viewers to emphasize not only with her, but Platt’s character, as well. What Broken Diamonds does so well is that it takes a highly-stigmatized subject and presents a human story that is clearly reflective of the realities of those impacted. While it is injected with smart humor here and there, the film truly shines when Platt and Kirke are given the space to explore their characters and bare all, often in unsettling conversations or scenarios, but always with empathic authenticity.
Broken Diamonds is, if I may, a diamond in the rough of indie films not getting enough attention. Director Peter Sattler packs the film’s swift runtime with more heart than the last five films I have seen, bringing to life writer Steve Waverly’s personally-influenced story in a way that is relatable and necessary. Broken Diamonds shifts the blame from the afflicted and instead reminds us that it is the affliction that is at the core of so much suffering, championing patience and understanding. Add in a moving soundtrack and a wonderful supporting role for Yvette Nicole Brown and you have a simply beautiful film that will leave a lasting impact.
Broken Diamonds hits select theaters and VOD this Friday.