Top positive review
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Well Acted Relationship Drama
on 9 June 2017
If you look at the film as a relationship drama, it actually works very well. Kate (Thandie Newton) and Martin (Cillian Murphy) are a young couple whose marriage is on the rocks. They rent an isolated cottage on a remote island off the Scottish coast where they've spent happier days in the past, in the hope a holiday may help them reconnect. One day they find an unresponsive soldier, Jack (Jamie Bell), near the beach. They bring him into the house, and when he recovers they learn about the outbreak of a highly contagious deadly virus on the mainland. They fail to establish a radio connection with the outside world. Jack insists that they barricade themselves inside the house and seal all doors and windows to prevent contamination with the virus. From now on it's an intense drama playing out between the three of them. With the looming threat of infection and in the presence of the forceful and virile character of Jack, Martin finds new strenghts and there seems hope for his relationship with Kate.
With a film that plays out among only three people a strong cast is essential, and Retreat has got that in spades. Cillian Murphy is one those few actors who always have an amazing screen presence, no matter how weak their character may be. And there is no denying that Martin, at least initially, is the weakest character here. Murphy manages to make us root for him, right from the beginning all the way through to the end. Thandie Newton seems to be getting a lot of criticism from reviewers, which seems rather unfair. I must admit that I did not like her character very much, but that's part of the story. Newton's performance is spot on. Also very good is Jamie Bell as the domineering military man. Definitely worth watching for the acting of all three leads.
The DVD is fine, both picture and sound are good. The extra features include a trailer, a photo gallery and a making of featurette.