October 17th, 2011

Raks New Profile Pic Square

55th BFI London Film Festival: Wreckers

Today was the World Premiere of Benedict Cumberbatch's new film, Wreckers. It is the debut feature from Dictynna Hood and is billed as a haunting tale of secrets and lies in the English countryside. It is here:

Photo credit: http://benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/wreckers-photos/

To cut to the chase, I fell in love with this film. The title credits rolled and I immediately wanted to see the film again to take in all the subtleties and the nuances in the acting, the direction, and the film-making generally. It was a truly beautiful and deeply moving film.

This film, like all great films, will obviously mean different things to different people and speak to different people on different levels. For me personally, the focus of the film was the marriage between Dawn (Claire Foy) and David (Benedict Cumberbatch), and the relationship between the two brothers, David (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Nick (Shaun Evans). I also loved a couple of the underyling themes of the film which questioned how much you can ever truly know another person, even if that person is your partner/spouse, and hidden family secrets (skeletons in the closet always interest me!).

I thought that the portrayal of the marriage by both Claire and Benedict was very convincing. The film is a very intimate portrayal of a marriage, up close and personal, told from the point of view of both the people involved in the relationship. You completely identify with both Dawn and David, you feel for them and you care about them, and you get to know their motivations, their aspirations and their associated insecurities. The infidelity in the film is treated very sympathetically and the film also shows the pain that infidelity causes not just to the person being betrayed but also to the person committing the betrayal.

The relationship between the brothers is shown in all its complexity, and the film leaves many questions ambiguous, in that you are never entirely sure whose version of events is the correct one, if there is a "correct" version at all. I loved the way that David was so protective of, and caring towards, his brother Nick, and I loved the realistic and believable manner in which Shaun conveyed post-traumatic stress syndrome for a soldier and mental health issues generally. His pain and trauma was 100% believable, as was David's care, concern and support.

The emotion that Benedict manages to convey in this piece through his eyes and his face, especially his pain in certain situations, is mind blowing. I loved it!

One strong message that I took away from the film, a message that I really believe in, and a message that is very positive and speaks to my heart, is that if you really and truly love someone, you will want to make them happy and you will do anything to make them happy, regardless of the personal cost to yourself and your ego. David does something truly unselfish in this film (very unusual in a man!) to try and ensure that his wife Dawn is happy and fulfilled.

What I will say, off the back of Third Star and Wreckers, is that I much prefer to see Benedict in small independent British films with a real heart and soul, often with a first time Director whose passion is their first film and telling that particular story, rather than in star-studded big budget Hollywood fare such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TTSS). His performance in these films and in Stuart is on a totally different level to TTSS. His eyes and face mirror his soul in each and every one of these films. I want more like this and less of TTSS please!

I give you a still photo from Wreckers that illustrates what I am saying and where I am coming from - this still image speaks 1000 words!

Photo credit: http://benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/wreckers-photos/

And, because I cannot resist any opportunity to plug Third Star for the umpteenth time, here is a still image from that film - one of my favourite still images of all time - that speaks 5000 words:

Photo credit: http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/third-star-photos/

When I first saw that Third Star still image my heart stopped!

London Film Festival. Browse the full programme and book tickets here:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

55th BFI London Film Festival: Coriolanus

Life is one long party for me at the moment. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see Benedict Cumberbatch's new film. Today I get to see Ralph Fiennes's new film, which is:

Photo credit: http://coriolanus-movie-trailer.blogspot.com/

I will be reporting back.

As well as playing the lead Coriolanus in the film, this is also Ralph's directorial debut. Coriolanus is billed as a clever, contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's play of political power and intrigue, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, and is here:

London Film Festival. Browse the full programme and book tickets here: