Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Eerily brilliant, superbly directed, produced, crafted and acted...
on 14 June 2015
This is just superb, the acting is compelling and the entire production is expertly crafted by the flawless Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, The 7.39 etc) and a mention must go to the director Jon East, and of course the writer Blake Morrison. Set in East Anglia and many of the shots are filmed there.
This is a deep and tangled story of unrequited love (two couples meet at the cottage of the wealthier pair for a weekend), two friends who studied law at university together, one becoming a barrister (Ollie - Rupert Penry-Jones) and the other (Ian - Shaun Evans) dropping out and becoming a primary school teacher. Ollie is living with his wife to be (Daisy - Genevieve O'Reilly) who just happens to have been Ian's first love at uni and who left him to take up with Ollie, but Ian, rightly or wrongly believes he meant more to her and he can't get over his feelings of unrequited love, even though he is now married and his wife (Em - Claire Keelan) is with him.
The story works well on Ian's jealousy, possessiveness, deluded thoughts about Daisy, and unrealistic aims of maybe becoming her lover and partner, an emotional roller-coaster ensues that spins into a dangerous game, with Ollie and Daisy's son Archie (Hugh Mitchell) throwing an occasional spanner into the works.
The tale unfolds with Ian at times dropping into off-shot b/w mode (actually 3 months into the future and reflecting back on the events and his feelings) to turn to the viewer and give a creepy narrative, describing his,often deluded, ideas about how much Daisy really adores him, he will say things like `see that smile, that meant something, she still fancies me'. The plot is compounded by Ollie revealing to Ian that his has a brain tumor and only has about 6 months to live but hasn't told anyone but him. This should cause his best friend to feel empathy, but his thoughts turn to Daisy and who is going to take care of her when the crunch comes, further twisting and tweaking his unrealistic desires. Woven into the story is a bizarre `triathlon' the two friends compete in to score points over each other and win a cash prize. To add more anguish for love-lorn Ian, a business partner of Daisy's (Milo -Alexander Karim) arrives with his children and it appears (to Ian's deluded sense of reality) that Daisy is attracted to him. The plot becomes wickedly tangled and devious. It is psychological, serious but so funny at times and it brings to life the reality of relationships and unrequited love. There is even a touch of something Shakespeare-ish about it.