Film Review: “STOP THE POUNDING HEART” (2013)


What happens when a teenage girl, who has nothing interesting in her life, and who lives on a farm with only cows and goats around, meets a young man who pays her attention that she has never had before? That`s correct, her heart starts pounding like never before. This is what happens with Sara (Sara Carlson) when Colby (Colby Trichell), an amateur bull rider, enters her life and begins to notice a girl who used to be invisible, even to herself…

Stop the Pounding Heart is an interesting overview of a life, which for most of is unknown. It revolves around a farm located somewhere in Texas, where people live their lives without high-tech things, and might as well be blind to the outside world. They enjoy their daily, basic, tasks, such as milking cows, looking after the goats, and cleaning house. Meantime, the male part of the population are busy training themselves to ride bulls.

As you must have already noticed, Roberto Minervini`s film has no plot, not even a little story for the audience to follow. But, a film like this, plot is just not that important, unless you`re expecting to see a story where two teenagers fall in love, get married and live happily after. Unfortunately, Sarah does not have that colorful life and lives on a goat farm with her family, and, like the rest of her siblings is taught to be a devout woman, subservient to men, while keeping her emotional and physical purity untouched until marriage. And it all seems absolutely natural, as the camera follows its heroes, and allows them to live their lives in a very ordinary way.

In this film, Minervini made it so that the actors, or in this case, non-actors look like real people; without special skills of acting and pretending in front of a camera. It is also fascinating to see how an ordinary girl who is raised with Christian traditions reacts to Colby. When Sara tries to respond to Colby in any way, we find her lost like in the deep and dark woods with no way out. This is when her mother notices unusual behavior of her daughter, quickly realises the real reason of Sarah`s absentmindedness,  stops her Sara once again to remind her how important it is to control her feelings, and to close her eyes to something that may distract her from her daily tasks. And, more importantly, she explains again, that to stop pounding heart is the key to taking control of a moment that could have ruin Sara`s entire future.

Ultimately, Minervini`s Stop the Pounding Heart is not one of those films you can easily watch on a Friday night.  It’s critical to tune yourself into the mood of the film in order to continue watching it. It`s just all about letting yourself relax and to give the film a chance to introduce you to the little known life of farmers; whose life  may not be action packed, but is, instead, full of quiet drama.

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