The intent was to portray Katerina’s complexity and balance her manic energy and conflicting behaviors with her vulnerability. Katerina’s character is very fascinating to me: strong and willful yet fragile; filled with contradictions and polarities yet imbued with subtlety; deceitful and narcissistic yet with strong emotional relationships. The different prisms of perceptions that people have of Katerina are juxtaposed against her reality and her growing self-realization of inner schism.
A classic high-performing dysfunctional, Katerina keeps her demons under control and away from public scrutiny, most of the time. At work, Katerina is successful and well-liked. She is a good friend to her co-worker Lindie, yet betrays her. Katerina’s relationship with her dad Seyfried is more that of a friend and co-conspirator. Seyfried, himself a wild child who’s never grown up and who only dates much younger women, sees in Katerina his own high-spiritedness and cupidity but fails to recognize the far deeper schism in her psyche. Eric, Katerina’s fiancé is besotted with Katerina and ignores her erratic behavior and confusing signals until it is too late. Even after Katerina’s infidelity, Eric allows himself to be convinced to forgive her.
Jessie, Katerina’s part-time lover, understands her need to rationalize her furtive trysts with him. Reid, Katerina’s boss and lover, as much a player as her, has little patience for Katerina’s drama. Only Katerina’s ex-boyfriend Omar understands her best: to him Katerina is a sweet lovely girl, except when she’s not, then she’s just plain crazy.
Throughout the film, the different characters speak about Katerina, the range of their narratives reflecting the complexity of Katerina and their contradictory perceptions of her. Only in the powerful final scene, Katerina speaks to the camera to reveal a growing self-realization of her ethical and psychological dysfunction, with perhaps a glimpse of a potential path to a more fulfilling solitude.
Shot 4k on a Red camera, scenes with lush rich interiors contrast against washed-out de-saturated scenes, to create tasty visuals with a memorable texture. Katerina picking up Jessie in the bar is shot from a distance, as if giving us a peek into Katerina’s secret life. The office scene of Katerina seducing Reid is shot in the shadows. The sequence in the glass-walled boardroom where Katerina blows up at Reid for dumping her after their night together, in full sight of her co-workers, provides a sense of her hidden life being exposed. The flashback of little Katerina with her warring parents is in de-saturated colors, evoking nostalgia for her younger self. Katerina staring out of her office window as she contemplates betraying Eric is shot with a blue filter conveying a dark isolated mood.
Shot over three days, the shooting schedule was very tight to accommodate the relatively large number of scenes, almost thirty, for the length of the script. The dialogue is sharp and incisive, layered with sub-text, and matches the pace of the film and events. The scenes are tight and short, and the dialogue and sub-text moves the story forward.