FIRST IMPRESSION RATING –
I got to see this film free as part of being a member of a film academy, which always raises the spirits when going into a film theatre, especially when I get to chomp on my favourite brand of popcorn as well (I did pay for that though!). I think the whole idea was to watch the film and build an opinion on it, and an opinion I have!
Credit elsewhere for image.
So visually, I was quite pleased. With the film being a World War 3 semi-apocalyptic themed romantic drama, it had a lot of landscape to work with – the lonely english fields, the abandoned warehouses, the deep dark woods at night. In the camera work, they excelled in the use of colour and grading and angles, which would have been brilliant if it weren’t for the let down of the story (but I’ll come to that in a bit). I was pretty impressed with the use of music in this as well; they seemed to use decent independent artists and I recognised a song from one of my favourites, Daughter, and have been playing it on the bus for the past week because of it. So hat’s off to music and camera work, but let’s steady it up for my disappointment…
It had potential, I give it that. Somebody obviously thought about the intrigue of making this relationship happen amongst the hardest and unlikeliest of circumstances (especially seeing as the characters were first cousins), but the fact is, I think there were too many obstacles in the story for it to be believable. The key to making a incestuous relationship connect to an audience emotionally is either batter the circumstances into their heads, or make the love believable. Neither of those things happened for me. So what I ended up feeling was slight confusion and slight repulsion at what appeared to be a romantic fling between cousins in the middle of an already brewing world disaster. Something I had difficulty relating to, anyway.
Then if we forgive that, because I appreciate the trickiness of succeeding in an on screen relationship – even if it is romance centred – there was also some half-superstitious, half-supernatural underlying story following the main characters which remained unanswered at the end of the film. It begs the question why put it in in the first place if it wasn’t key to the story.
And my final beef with the plot was that although the film was supposed to be happening through weeks and months, maybe even years, it felt like the whole thing lasted a week. “This week, a girl falls in love with her cousin, the world begins world war 3, all the kids are evacuated from their house and taken to fight or to work, then they walk home again to find each other.” And that was a real issue for me. Everything happened on fast forward, so I never felt emotionally attached to any of the characters or what was happening, and for a world war and a love story, I think I should have felt something. Even in character development, the characters changed from one personality to another in next to no time. To be absolutely fair, there were a few bits where I felt sad, but it wasn’t the range of emotion I would expect to have in a film like this one.
Overall, the film may have been visually and audibly effective, but the plot was loose and generally unexplained. It was trying too hard to fit everything in, rather than concentrating on the main points of the story to develop them into something emotional and important. It was a nice idea, and I can’t say I didn’t find it entertaining enough, but it wasn’t something I’d put on my recommended films list.