Inland  (15) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Fridtjof Ryder, UK, 2022, 82 mins

Cast:  Rory Alexander, Mark Rylance, Shaun Dingwall

Review by Carol Allen

New young writer/director Fridtjof Ryder has gathered a lot of support for his first film from many sources in the British film industry including well known names such as producer Trudi Styler and actor Mark Rylance, who acts both as executive producer and in a supporting role.

They must have seen something in the script, which doesn’t come over on screen, as I’m afraid I was rather unimpressed

The film is set in the Forest of Dean, scene of some of Dennis Potter’s plays.  Potter was a good story teller, even when he was being ground breaking or even a bit obscure.  

The problem with Ryder’s film is that the story is virtually non existent.   He sets up a potentially interesting situation but nothing of any dramatic importance ever happens. 

An unnamed young man, played by newcome Rory Alexander, is released from a psychiatric unit.   One assumes the understandable cause of his illness is the fact that as a boy he lost his mother in the forest, a trauma to which we keep visually returning. 

He goes back to the scene of his loss and with the help of old friends of hers tries to find her.

Garage mechanic Dunleavy (Rylance) gives him a bed and John (Shaun Dingwall), who works in the garage, befriends him. One night he takes the young man to a bar for a drink, where he meets a sex worker who may or may not be his mother.  And time after time the young man goes back to the woods.

And that’s it.   A situation in search of a story.

On the positive side, newcomer Alexander looks promising but I’d like to see him in a more dynamic role.   And the cinematography by Ravi Doubleday, who also appears to be a newcomer, is very good.   The forest looks magical.