It starts slowly, the manner in which it means to go on. A middle-aged man,
as weather-beaten as the valleys around him goes quietly about his business,
tending to his hens, dredging a well. But the routine is interrupted when he
comes across a crashed car and a couple in distress. Then begins a silent
rescue operation; he takes the unconscious woman in his arms, carrying her back
home across a vast heathland, her boyfriend stumbling behind. It’s a hauntingly
composed scene, one of many that the film has to offer.
Home, as it turns out, is a place untouched by the
digital age, and the camera delights in this setting, much enamoured by its
faded wallpapers and rain-drenched, mossy gardens. It’s here, in these oppressively
remote environs that the film’s theatrics play out; where we learn the truth
about the host Stanley and his guests Sara and Iwan.
This, we soon find out, is a couple on the run, but it
takes much longer to find out why. It’s a film that keeps you guessing,
watching as the house’s farthest reaches are explored; as dynamics shift; as
Iwan becomes ever more brutish, and Sara and Stanley grow closer together. For
a project like this to work, the acting must be of the highest quality;
thankfully, it is. Character deepens as the story gradually unfurls and the darkly dramatic threatens constantly to yield to the supernatural.
Having worked on (and in Talfan's case co-created) the acclaimed drama Hinterland, both director and writer have backgrounds in television. But this move into film proves a more than worthwhile endeavour. For fans of challenging cinema, The Passing is essential viewing.
|What||The Passing film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
08 Apr 16 – 08 May 16, Event times vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|