Oh what a tangled web we weave… Set in a small, industrial town in North London, this finely crafted, gripping movie adopts an interesting and highly effective device of taking the viewer behind the scenes, after the fact.
The audience becomes the voyeur, sighting the outcomes of the impulses and reactions of highly charged situations throughout the story, creatively depicting what can happen when we act before we have all the facts, and when it’s too late.
Cillian James of ‘Inception’, ‘Dark Knight’ and ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ fame, plays mild mannered Mike Kiernan, living in the moment and taking much for granted, only waking up when what he wants is challenged. Tim Roth underplays the role of Archie to perfection, will all the raw and confused complications a single parent may encounter. The standing ovation performance goes to Eloise Laurence who plays the 11-year-old daughter, Skunk, filled with innocence, love and kindness. Her depth of character is superbly paralleled by the places we are transported to through her eyes.
The film rotates around the lives of the residents living at the end of a tight cul-de-sac. Each neighbor plays an integral part of the bigger picture, a picture filled with hardship, insecurity, loss, suspicion, pain and anger, where jumping to conclusions undermines the best intentions to protect and defend.
This is a movie of our times, of fathers raising children on their own, of social ignorance, lies, prejudice and contempt. This is a movie of loyalty, love and friendship. This is a movie about family, relationships and the qualities we impart to our children every time we speak, act and react. This is a movie to stop us in our tracks and encourage us to take a deep breath before we dive in and do what can’t be undone.
© Patricia Herreen 2013