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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Set in Liverpool we meet Kelly (Antonia Campbell-Hughes - `Lead Balloon' TV series) who at first glance looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. She has a bit of a sexual proclivity that takes her outside what some would consider the normal social mores of coital intercourse. She is into asphyxiation. Whilst at a nightclub she meets Victor (Julian Morris - `Valkyrie' to name but one credit). They seem to have an immediate rapport and end up `getting it on'.

Well after the taboo of her `need' is out, it seems to grow and their sexploits seem to add more meaning to their lives which, aside from the odd gig with a dominatrix for Kelly, do seem to be a bit mundane. Victor though sees things going too far - the question is where will such dangerously charged sexual needs end?

To say anymore would be a plot spoiler and there is so much more to this film. It is a bit layered and some would argue subtle to the point of obscuring the real message - if indeed there is a tangible one. I felt that it was all about love, lust, real emotions and sexual needs. It plays out like a damaged poem with some of the scenes taking on the surreal to the grotesque - though not literally. Some commentators have berated the film for doing exactly what I feel it sets out to do. That being it is not meant to be a damning indictment on sexually driven desires or as a lesson to `beware', but a story albeit a very moving one about two people who try to connect on a very deep and emotional level.

Not for the easily offended or sexually squeamish, although that side is not graphic, it was never meant to be. If you like you films to push boundaries then this will probably be one you would want to see.
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on 7 November 2015
The film is set in dingy back streets with characters barely existing emotionally. However, out of this world comes a heady and deadly passion when Kelly and Victor meet, enjoy a very raw sexual encounter and try to return to their 'normal' lives.

Kelly is a feisty women who will not be the subject of her controlling ex-fiance. Her mum thinks she could re-consider her views but, as we see, he's just a thug. Victor seems to be an easy-going bloke who does not quite know where he belongs. The second encounter with Kelly, though, hurts and he cannot imagine how he could continue with a sado-masochistic relationship. She is the dominant partner.

This kind of loving, however challenging it is for Victor, becomes an important factor in his life. Kelly can love the way she wants to if her partner is sexually submissive. The fascinating journey to mutual satisfaction could have lead in several directions and that is what gives the film its raw and very sharp edge.
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on 4 March 2014
For a first movie, this is very assured. Populated by the misfits of the world, the narrative details the sad lives of two young victims of the casual neglect that is concealed by a broken society. It is all the more poignant because they were so close to reaching a resolution of their difficulties that are embedded in the caring system
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on 21 April 2014
An excellent adaptation of Niall Griffith's Liverpool-set novel of an obsessive, doomed love affair between two young people drifting on the margins of society. The waif-like Antonia Campbell-Hughes is great casting as the damaged Kelly and plays the role with a perfectly judged, withdrawn otherness as she finds some kind of outlet for her life's troubles by sexually humiliating the willing Victor. Not as painfully visceral or hedonistic as the book, and perhaps not altogether psychologically convincing, but certainly strong enough meat to make for compelling, and, in the end, moving and melancholic, viewing.
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on 12 February 2014
Welsh screenwriter and director Kieran Evans` feature film debut which he wrote, is an adaptation of a novel from 2002 by English author Niall Griffiths. It premiered in the Dare section at the 56th London Film Festival in 2012, was screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2013, was shot on locations in England and North Wales and is a UK-Ireland co-production which was produced by producer Jainine Marmot. It tells the story about a man named Victor who lives at a disused school in Anfield, Liverpool in England with three other men and who spends most of his time with his sister named Lizzie who lives in a house with her husband named Mikey and their son named Connor, and his friends named Craig and Baz. Whilst celebrating at a nightclub on his birthday, Victor meets a woman named Kelly on the dance floor and accompanies her to her apartment.

Distinctly and precisely directed by Welsh filmmaker Kieran Evans, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated simultaneously and interchangeably from the two main characters` viewpoints, draws a necessarily unsentimental and psychologically poetic portrayal of a woman who socialises with a Dominatrix named Victoria, and who on a night in June whilst out dancing approaches and initiates contact with a person she takes a liking to. While notable for its variegated and atmospheric milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by cinematographer Piers McGrail, production design by production designer Anthea Nelson, costume design by costume designer Orla Smyth-Mill and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about the consequences of human cruelty and how it in some cases can express itself, where a Gemini woman and Taurus man who chooses to trust one another and unite in an act of love which exposes their true selves and creates an unspoken promise and invaluable fragments of hope which transforms them and their relation to life, and where excruciating deeds gradually becomes understandable though not condonable, depicts two mindfully internalized studies of character and contains a timely and prominent score by composer Steve Fanagan.

This lingeringly atmospheric, mysteriously spiritual and poignantly and yearningly romantic indie love-story which is set during a summer in England in the 21st century and where an English dock worker in his late twenties is introduced through his new acquaintance to unfamiliar expressions which causes bilateral reactions and instigates the presence of death in him, and a self-employed female designer whom unwillingly joins a friend to meet a banker who takes strange pleasure from being humiliated and dominated, starts acting in reckless and hazardous ways, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, rhythmic continuity, efficiently abrupt film editing, contrasting perspectives, graceful interplay, scenes between Victor and Kelly, comment by a bartender at a pub : "Pick on someone your own size..." and the crucial and authentic acting performances by Northern Irish actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes and English actor Julian Morris. An importantly austere, densely cinematographic and humanizing character piece.
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on 6 January 2015
Just average. Bad casting I felt. I couldn't quite get where we were heading in the story or even why. There needed to be more background to the narrative and less actual narrative. Or maybe I missed the point.
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on 19 March 2014
Brilliantly filmed and deservedly won a bafta. I just wish it had received more coverage that it clearly deserves. Both leads performed admirably throughout.
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on 8 September 2015
Shocking acting. Shockingly miserable. Shockingly slow paced. The only thing that wasn't shocking was the explicit scenes. My wife and I nearly died of boredom.
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on 15 June 2014
Unusual little film with an exceptional performance from Antonia but the book is way better. The film missed the books structure. Worth a watch though
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on 30 April 2015
My brother likes it!
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