The Four Walls of Charlotte Moreland
Dec 9, 2022
Who is the titular character in co-writers/co-directors Joe Benedetto and Alison Stover’s drama The Four Walls of Charlotte Moreland? Charlotte (Alison Stover) is one of the many women who must overcome abusive relationships. This is especially the case considering that her situation has dragged into stalker territory and everyday wears and tears on Charlotte mentally. She’s stuck in living torture. Charlotte personifies so many women who must cope with the inability to be of sound mind because of a narcissistic man who thinks women want to be raped and that it’s okay to easily suggest suicide.
Only through voice and text messages do we know about Hudson, the man who ruined Charlotte. This unseen character is well-played in this dramatic short. How one can understand their mind when it’s not working, or at least the way it used to, is something Charlotte must grapple with moving on from her accuser, rapist, and stalker. She pushes herself to normalcy, walking outside, talking with people, and sharing stories. People reach out to help, including her boss and close friend. Finally, after a very scathing disruptive letter from Hudson, Charlotte bonds with a police officer who shares her story of abuse and suggests having a Louisville slugger around — a source of empowerment and a fight in the right direction.
“…Charlotte must grapple with moving on from her accuser, rapist, and stalker.”
The Four Walls of Charlotte Moreland is broad in subject matter but up close and personal in drama. The filmmakers truthfully depict the struggle, the kind that keeps you in bed, constantly crying, on Xanax, with the inability to function as a human. Unable to leave the house, speak to friends, or go to work, Charlotte crawls her way to freedom and a sound mind with therapy. As a guiding light, therapist Dr. Sandri (Jane Dashow) helps a new Charlotte to emerge, leaving the old one behind.
So what are the four walls of Charlotte Moreland? Benedetto and Stover leave it upended, but it could be acknowledging her abuse, ending her blame, to stop engaging her abuser, and welcoming therapy. But, whatever they are, Charlotte owned and conquered them, and many women should know it’s possible. Exceptional acting and excellent art direction for space, light, and texture with focused linear storytelling allow The Four Walls of Charlotte to connect visually and emotionally to understand the aftermath of a narcissistic-based relationship.
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