If this film was hoping to capture some of the essence of an American road movie and transplant it to north-west England, then it did an excellent job of doing so. The use of the scenery is one of the high points of this film, from the wide open spaces of Sefton Sands and the nearby coast, to the monotonous motorways and anonymous service and petrol stations that provided the background for many of its scenes. Along with the music used, the atmosphere these provide is quite special. In fact it all creates quite a palpable feeling that the story takes place a bit out of sync with reality. It made a nice change too, to watch a film set in Britain somewhere other than in London, a posh National Trust properly or a run-down inner city estate.
If the film was hoping to draw top draw performances from its two main actresses, then again it succeeded. Yes it's a lesbian love story of sorts, but the relationship between the main characters, Eunice and Miriam, amounts to a lot more; in fact this aspect is probably rather played down, although it does underpin much of the overall plot. (Sorry lads, there's not a lot of hot babe on babe action here, just two grubby individuals who connect.)
In fact there're only two things that bring this film down. Firstly, why? However much I think about what went on in this film, there are still many places where I find myself asking why? When I watch Hollywood blockbusters, aliens invading earth and superheroes saving us from baddies, I expect to suspend my belief in things a bit. However, this was a film that didn't have any spaceships or zombies in it and therefore I do feel its story should have made a bit more sense. There was no exploration of why either of the characters behaved in the way they did, we were just expected to accept that that's the way they were and get on with it. I'm sure many people can manage with this quite happy, but for me it did make me ask why? The characters' relationship became established too quickly for me to be able to accept it at face value. I wanted to know if either character had a history of mental distress, or what had happened to make them behave in the way they that did. I think I would have enjoyed the film more if I'd known. Which brings me to the second thing that's not great about this film. As it stands it gives a somewhat negative representation of people with mental illness and stands to reinforce the prejudice some people have towards people who suffer from it, which is a real shame. This is a film about people whose behaviour has crossed the line, yet it only highlights the characters' behaviour from an emotional angle. I have a bit of difficulty accepting that being in a lesbian relationship makes you a murderer!
This is a clever, quite hard hitting film with a lovely, other worldly feel to it and first rate acting; just for me it's a shame the characters' backgrounds weren't explored a little more.
Finally, for those interested in special features, this DVD comes with scene selection and, em, that's all.