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The Levelling [DVD]
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A stunning debut feature by writer-director Hope Dickson Leach, starring Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones) and David Troughton (The Archers).
Against the backdrop of the floods that devastated her home, Clover (Kendrick) returns to her family farm to confront her estranged father, Aubrey (Troughton). Shadowed by ill-remembered conflicts and unspoken regrets, the pair set out to heal their fractious yet still loving relationship.
Dickson Leach showcases her burgeoning skill as a filmmaker to watch, displaying a remarkable ability to craft drama from silence and inference. Troughton gives a finely tempered performance, perfectly matched by Kendrick’s extraordinary presence in the breakout role of the year.
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As Clover gets back into the swing of things – building up to the funeral, she starts to pick at the scabs of that past and question what really happened to her brother.
****May be plot spoilers ahead ***
Now there are lots of other issues involved here including bovine TB, the demise of dairy farmers, the treatment of animals as well as the lies and deceit and the closets wherein they dwell. Some commentators have pointed out glaring plot holes and factual farming faux pas’ but if done for poetic licence these can be forgiven. The cinematography has been widely praised and rightly so. The acting is all very good with each person making a fine job of what they are given. The problem for me was that I struggled to stay interested and that is a bit of a deal breaker.
It seems to drift along with a beginning of sorts and a middle that sort of meanders to a sort of end that is actually a beginning and by that time the characters have mostly revealed character flaws to make them worthy of demerits from even the most forgiving soul. That may have been the whole point and may have been too subtle for me but either way I would not be paid to even consider watching this again, so to answer my own question – is it interesting – very nearly only..
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