Featuring two incredible performances from its leads, both newcomers with a captivating take on feeling lost in a lonely place: they create a bond stronger than a friendship, one that doesn’t revolve around sexuality. We meet Melanie when she wakes up at a party looking like Charlie Chaplin. She doesn’t know where she is but somehow meets a friend of her boyfriend’s who helps her find her way. Her boyfriend is never seen but is heard during phone calls; he is the main reason for Melanie’s feelings of loss due to his constant working, possible infidelity and his total lack of care. The strong need to find something better soon finds her interested in a stranger who helps her pay for breakfast and soon becomes more.
Ray played by Rob Knighton is the stand-out performance; he brings a complicated, silent, macho “gangster” persona into the realm of black comedy with subtle looks, low-key acting and presence that will surely elevate his stock to someone to look out for, especially for an actor in his 50s in his first lead role. He oozes class and I’m sure with the right role could be a fantastic British actor that will be known for years to come. He commands the screen for the time he appears, but Nora Tschimer does fantastically in matching his level of intensity with a playfulness that offsets his strong personality. Their’s is a cat and mouse friendship in which they help each other understand what will make them happy in their respective lives and even with an ambiguous ending, leads into a possible future for these budding lost souls.
Drenched in melancholy, the best sequences consist of Ray talking to a cat which his sister-in-law believes to be in possession of her husband’s and Ray’s brother’s soul. It flip flops between dark honest humour and tragically surreal, especially the ending, which I won’t give away as it pays off handsomely. The silences leave room for the actors to showcase their talents with a minimal script and exceptional editing to create a slow burner which captures your attention for the full hour and twenty-three minutes. I’m excited about what Jones does next, highly anticipating the direction they take next, as it is 100% certain to be what audiences are missing in British filmmaking, and that’s honesty with a hint of beauty.
Review by Simon Childs
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