13 October 2013

Red Road

Red Road 2006
  • Director: Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights)
  • Based on Book: no
  • Cast: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Natalie Press, Martin Compston
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Kate Dickie – nothing yet but she’s in Prometheus which we will watch one day soon
    • Tony Curran – Gladiator, Great Expectations, Go Now, Shallow Grave and many more I haven’t seen
    • Natalie Press – Island, My Summer of Love
    • Martin Compston – Sweet Sixteen
  • Why bought: Natalie Press. A good movie
  • Seen:  Twice. September 12, 2010 and now: October 10, 2013.

       One of the most disturbing films I’ve seen, Red Road fascinates from the first frame to the last.  The pace is very slow.  How exciting can it be to watch in close-up a woman watching a bunch of TV surveillance screens?  The answer: very.
Jackie has a past. She’s traumatized. Either she’s completely numb, her emotions destroyed, or she’s insane, just barely holding them in.
She sees Clyde on one of her screens. Gradually we realize that Clyde is the cause of everything and we soon figure out what he’s done. But not why or how.
Jackie starts stalking him and drawing him into her net. But why? Why? With an uneasiness that grows into an almost painful apprehension we watch as they seduce each other. But which one is the victim?  Which one is the aggressor?
Clyde is clearly the villain.  He’s a thoroughly obnoxious sexist pig.  I hate him. Jackie hates him.  But.  There’s more to him than that. He’s gentle. He’s supportive.  He’s artistic. He’s trying to reform. Or is he?
Revenge is sweet.  Or is it?               
As I watch it I think, “Oh I don’t like this film.” It’s unpleasant. It’s horrible.  But I can’t stop. The web these two weave, Jackie and Clyde, together with Clyde’s two wretched friends Stevie and April - in a grim Glasgow of graffiti, litter, surveillance cameras, stark skyscrapers on an isolated plain – are completely captivating.
The acting is superb. I bought the DVD after seeing Natalie Press in Island. She’s someone to keep an eye on. They all are.

4  * of 5

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