“A Joy That Kills” is a short film in which an imprisoned wife is portrayed as being somewhat comprehensively challenged, and in her efforts to finally escape her life of mental, physical and emotional abuse she dies as a result of an unexpected surprise of tragic torture. Depicting a relationship strong bondage, the characters in the story display mental slavery. Louise is a submissive wife who obeys every given command by her autocrat husband, yet suffers from much mental abuse while in her own home.
For example, within the movie Mr. Mallard (husband) would not allow Louise to leave their home, for Mr. Mallard had been given information by the doctor that it was unsafe for his wife to be alone due to a heart condition, so he instructed her to stay inside and she complied. Louise was unhappy because she felt well enough to venture outside her home, but she knew the consequences of her abusive husband and would not permit her to do so. Louise seems to be naive to the fact that she was being physically abused.
During one scene she had asked her husband to place his arms around her neck and squeeze. She would continually ask him to squeeze her harder until some form of gratification was achieved by Louise. This had possibly have stemmed from her father at a very young age. For instance, her father had appeared to be an alcoholic pedophile who would drink and command her to wear a nightgown. He would then delicately caress her as if she was a woman- his woman. This kind of physical immoral act unfortunately followed Louise throughout her life to marriage.
She was a prisoner in her own mind and the only way she was able to go outside was through a view finder. The view finder was provided by her husband, who would furnish photographs of the forbidden world. Overall with each challenge she faced, Louise finally conquered her battles of emotional trauma with an untimely yet gratifying death. In conclusion, “A Joy That Kills” shows a woman who was slowly deteriorating internally. She was never unable to become free.