Andrew Haigh, director of Weekend, has many impressive credits to his name. Following Weekend's success the British director has now arrived his next venture, new film 45 years, which takes a heartbreaking look at daily life observed from a rarely visited perspective.
45 Years: Wedding Anniversary psychodrama
Kate and Geoff are a seemingly contented, ageing couple, on the brink of celebrating 45 years of marriage. Since she and Geoff have no children, Kate spends her days taking Max, their dog, for regular walks, whiling away afternoons in the pub or evenings over the crossword. Their wedding anniversary is fast approaching, and they prepare with affection and relative calm to host a long overdue celebration of their marriage.
But when Geoff receives a letter out of the blue telling him that the body of his first love, killed years before, has been found frozen and perfectly preserved in a glacier in the Swiss alps, all certainty within this seemingly stable marriage is thrown into alarming disarray.
The news dredges up dark emotions for Geoff, who can't shake the memory that this young woman – who thanks to the ice still resembles her twenty-five year old self – was the true love of his life, and for Kate, who, seeing a loose thread in their seemingly perfect marriage that once pulled begins slowly and painstakingly to unravel.
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What begins as a sensitive, charming portrait of rural life and domestic comfort, becomes midway through something else entirely. As the past's dark and unsettling truths are revealed, Haigh's film takes on the quality of a psychological thriller.
Haigh's film is also almost entirely silent. His genius lies in making everyday irritations – the ticking of a clock or the barking of a dog – become all-consuming. The tension builds like a boiling kettle, and as the hiss in the background steadily becomes louder, the couple's quaint yet mundane lives in British bucolia become unbearable, unsure whether they continue out of habit or fear.
A portrait of brewing melancholia in rustic England
Dark and stoically British, Haigh's film is a beautifully drawn picture of latent melancholia. The landscape of Haigh's film does in turn become a character in itself, the frosty English countryside becoming a metaphor for the bleak chill seeping slowly into the heart of the couple's marriage.
The film sees the return of British screen greats Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling. Movie lovers and fans of their prolific and mutually impressive repertoires will relish seeing the pair together on screen for the first time.
Haigh's well-drawn characters are performed masterfully by the pair: there's a simple tragedy to Rampling's performance as the stoical Kate, which combined with Courtenay's passionate and pitiful Geoff makes for a fascinating character study of a marriage that can't let go of its past.
A psychodrama of unpredictable depth and sensitivity, the tragedy of Haigh's new film creeps up on its viewers with a feeling of uncertainty and eventual dread. Poetic, devastatingly realist, 45 Years explores just how shatteringly the past can catch up with the present.
If you have a chance this weekend, then, watch 45 Years – the only the thing we'd suggest: don't watch it with your other half.
45 years trailer
Click here to watch the 45 years movie trailer
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|What||45 Years | Film Review | Charlotte Rampling & Tom Courtenay|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
28 Aug 15 – 01 Oct 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to the Curzon website|