The Husband begins with a premise we’ve all heard before, a romantic triangle. There’s a husband, a wife and a lover but, as director Bruce McDonald points out, “in this case the lover is fourteen years old and the wife is in jail.”
The movie is a dark dramedy about Henry, (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, who also co-wrote the script), struggling to deal with the shame he feels when his wife is jailed for having an affair with a minor.
“The script really tries to understand what the male goes through in this crazy situation,” says McDonald. “It’s about regaining your mojo, about reclaiming your masculinity and power and it was written as a suspense story.
There was this ‘What’s this guy going to do’ thing all the way along. It was set up as a revenge movie. We meet our character and he is going through his day-to-day and one day, on the street, he sees the kid. The kid that did the deed. That sets off the movie, so it’s this cat and mouse game throughout the whole movie. I just loved the way it was constructed and the suspense of it. What is our character Henry going to do when he finally confronts the kid?
“He begins to do irrational things. First he’s trying to befriend this kid and get on his good side. To do what? And then other elements come into play where he is preparing something that you might think is a violent end to this confrontation. Henry is a mysterious and enigmatic character looking for some kind of closure on being the humiliated, cuckold husband.”
The edgy film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. McDonald admits to being “very surprised at the reaction.”
“People were very taken with this movie,” he says. “They went in deep. I think they loved the oddness and the suspense of the story. They loved the situation and I think they loved how authentic and true it seemed to be in terms of the performances by Maxwell and Sarah Allen.
“Usually at the festival there’s two or three screenings. In this case the screening venues kept getting bigger and bigger which is always a bit frightening because the first screening is usually well attended and by the third you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen but our third screening was packed to the rafters.”