Writer/Director: Philip Ridley
Running time: 114 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 18
UK Release Date: 21st May 2010
Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 1st June 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I put this film on with a lot of hope that it was going to be a little gem. But hope has a way of letting you down, and this one did just that, it let me down. It wasn’t all bad, but it could, and should, have been so much better. A mix of horror, mystery, a love story and a thriller, it’s almost like it didn’t quite know what it wanted to be! But more of my thoughts later, here’s a very brief summary first.
Jamie Morgan was born with a birthmark that covered one side of his face with a heart-shaped pattern. Consequently he is quite shy and doesn’t believe he will ever meet someone and have a family, due to this affliction. He is a photographer in London and runs the family business along with his brother, Raymond and Raymond’s son, Lee. Their father had set it up but had passed away several years earlier. Through work, Jamie had briefly met the girl of his dreams, Tia, but he thought she would have nothing to do with him. After his mother dies tragically, Jamie gets a call from a mysterious individual who calls himself Papa B. He is willing to give Jamie everything he desires… but there’s a price. Will this price prove too high for Jamie? I think you can probably guess I’m not about to tell you here.
This film had a very limited budget and it shows, in places it looks more like a gritty documentary than a feature film. It does, however, have a lot of atmosphere and there are some truly creepy moments when Jamie is roaming the streets at night. A decent performance from all of the main cast; Jim Sturgess as Jamie Morgan, Clémence Poésy as Tia and Noel Clarke as A.J. Honourable mentions go to; Nikita Mistry as Belle, Timothy Spall as George Morgan and Joseph Mawle as Papa B.
I can kind of see what writer/director, Philip Ridley was trying to do here, but it didn’t quite come off (for me). I never really engaged with the character of Jamie and because of that I found it hard to sympathise with his plight. It did get very baggy in the middle third and by the end I was checking my watch to see when it was going to end (never a good sign). Like many films set in London, a lot about how life is in a big city is assumed and this never comes off (for me). I live in a small town in Yorkshire and it’s a world apart from the bright lights and dark alleys of London. So, over all, I didn’t really enjoy this film, it did have its moments but they were too few and too infrequent to warrant a higher score… Not recommended.
My Score: 5.4