Love Bugged from MancMade is a short but high-quality production.
Although it is set during the recent (or forthcoming) lockdown, all involved are determined to keep the mood, if not actually cheerful, at least light rather than dour. The original music by Jace Campbell is bright and lively in the style of Britpop.
Kelly (sole performer Anna Jobarteh) is finding lockdown hard to endure. Boredom caused by lack of social contact makes her judgmental of her neighbours and anyone she feels is flouting the lockdown rules. More worrying the enforced intimacy with her boyfriend is emphasising his traits and behavioural patterns that are becoming irritating.
Anna Jobarteh creates a character who, while not exactly likeable, is very easy to understand. Kelly is demanding of attention and capable of loudly judging others while overlooking her own flaws. Yet Jobarteh has a resigned self-awareness making it clear Kelly’s faults are more due to the extreme situation than the person.
Author David Viney has an ear for a memorable phrase. Jenny suffers from ‘Diva Fever’ and ponders whether her obsession with social media is keeping her sane or driving her mad.
Director Michelle Parker develops a stylish production. The rapid opening shots capturing Kelly’s restless mood while in enforced isolation. The film switches from colour to black and white as Kelly fantasises about possibility reporting her neighbours.
Anything that might lift the current grim mood is welcome so Love Bugged is well worth a watch.
Reviewer: David Cunningham