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|