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Your Working on Drones??.....What type of Payload is it??
on 25 July 2013
Flying Blind tells the story of Bristol-born, successful, motivated, and sexually attractive forty-something `Frankie' (McCrory), who works for British Aerospace...currently developing Military Drones, for use against targeted enemies of the state. She also part-time lectures at a local university..and it's here that she meets French-Algerian student `Kahil' (Oudghiri), who at 24years old, is just over half her age.
After a very brief period of flirtatiously circling each other.....they become involved in an extremely sexually intense affair, which over the weeks develops into a slightly precarious relationship. There are the initial cultural barriers, and age difference present at the very beginning of the relationship..but such is the rapidness of their attraction to each other, that these are easily put to rest and the relationship seemingly bringing out the best of both parties. Although their relationship worries her protective father (Cranham) who is a retired Concorde engineer, and more importantly quickly brings itself to the attention of Mi5, who confront Frankie, with the suspicion that Kahil may be manipulating her for access to her very confidential work on military Drones.
After presenting Frankie with (probable) reason to be concerned, Frankie begins to question her lovers validity, and she digs deeper to find out more about the lover she admittedly knows very little about....irregularities, begin to surface about Kahil's life, and although no particular discovery is enough to fully sink the relationship, enough self-doubt in the relationship, with the increasing interest from Mi5, begins to call Kahil's motives into question.
Kahil himself is a bunch of contradictions: Handsome, yet yielding physical scars, he's unwilling to explain.....wispy in nature, yet shows glimpses of an explosive temper...and similarly charming yet clearly holding back some secrets regarding his life...
A lot of the first half of the film hedges on the sexual chemistry between the two leads....who both (despite the age gap) share a raw sexual dynamic between them, even though they are on very different steps on the class stepladder (Frankie lives in a plush private block....Kahil in a grubby one room shared flat), but the more Frankie delves into Kahil's life....the more she begins to doubt the relationship, and Kahil's intentions. What follows is a game of cat-&-mouse with someone increasingly likely to take a very heavy fall, when this is over.
This film is truth be known, more than likely a BBC drama (it is a micro budgeted film filmed for just under`£500,000'...and part funded by the BBC), that is essentially been bumped up to a Cinema, then DVD release. But this doesn't take away from the two fantastic performances...although this really is McCrory's film, as she is astonishing as `Frankie'....by turns strong, without being hard-nosed...level-headed while being prone to romantic impulsiveness, and sexually confident (almost boarding on aggressive, when she is pursuing Kahil), but just as fallible when it comes to affairs of the heart.
Much criticism has been made regarding Frankie's increasingly erratic decisions, for someone who is so emotionally strong and independent, who would fall so hard for a Student half her age...but a very early throwaway comment in the film, hints at dissatisfaction at the last lover....so when Kahil enters her life, and turns her sexual expectations completely on it's head....why wouldn't she fall so hard for him?? It's worthy of note that although there are inconsistent holes in the script such as: Frankie's emotional decisions regarding Kahil as she seems willing to risk everything for/and for someone working such a high-profile job & project... her frequent jaunts out of the office would be a huge problem/Kahil's character is very thinly sketched, and next to nothing is revealed regarding his personal life (*although the Director has said this was to make his intentions unclear to the viewer*).
But this is offset by the very many things it does right: A truly sterling performance by McCrory who is arguably the best thing in this movie/the city of Bristol is lovingly used as a backdrop for the movie as opposed to London/presenting the U.K. as a place when different ethnic backgrounds are forced to rub shoulders in spite of their misgivings/Presenting a strong Middle-aged woman that isn't a supporting character, or playing the put-upon girlfriend or wife...
Special mention must be given to the sex scenes between the two leads, which are amongst the most sexually charged and passionate, I've seen in a while....and the themes of: ageism, sexism, racial identity, racial stereotyping, and radical profiling are all very briefly touched upon (although not explored)
Seeing as nobody has written a review on Amazon yet regarding the film, I thought I'd go into a slightly longer review to give you an idea for the film. Granted the film is not a masterpiece...and there will be those that wonder what all the fuss is about, but there will a small section of viewers (myself included), that this movies really touches, and rewards them with multiple viewings (which I enjoyed each time I re-watched it), and if you can look past it's very T.V. Drama appearance, you'll be rewareded with a one of those remarkable unheralded movies, that sometimes gets lost amongst the much higher-profile movies being released.