If the spirit–or the internet–moves you to investigate Benedict Cumberbatch’s back catalogue, I don’t recommend this entry. [NB I was investigating Shaun Evans’s back catalogue, and so I’m not embarrassed.] This is the sort of movie in which everything is shot in poor lighting and nothing makes sense, in the name of verisimilitude. Probably in the name of realness, actually; verisimilitude isn’t a verisimilitudinous word. At any rate, prepare yourself for shots of wedding rings and stained glass in close up. This is deep.

Dawn (Claire Foy) and David (Mr. Cumberbatch) are married, have recently moved back to his childhood home in the country, and are trying unsuccessfully to have a baby. His brother Nick (Mr. Evans) arrives unannounced, with a penchant for petty larceny and an untreated case of PTSD. You will be shocked to learn that Dawn and David’s marriage starts to fall apart, but it’s not really for the reasons you’d expect or believe. People have kept secrets, people do rotten things, yadda yadda yadda.

But here’s the thing: you don’t care. You feel sorry for Nick, but his PTSD is played exclusively and reductively for pity. He’s just a wounded animal, and everyone treats him like an incontinent child. Dawn and David are ostensibly very much in love, but they mostly just mope and look bitter; David particularly is a cipher with occasional flashes of unlikely, exaggerated emotion. Motivations in general are barely sketched in, which is not what I’d call good story-telling. Dawn is the main character, I suppose, but things just happen to her, for no particular reason, and her own actions have no rationale. We cannot see into her head; still less into anyone else’s. It’s profoundly unsatisfying.

This is exactly the sort of semi-verité that everyone makes all the time now, and it’s slightly worse than all the rest. If you want your life to be made a misery, with a blue filter over the camera, inexplicable shouting, and unpleasant squalid love scenes, go ahead and watch this, but otherwise…

Director: D R Hood
Rating: R?
Length: 85 minutes
Score: 2/5. And probably only 1/5 if I hadn’t got to watch Claire Foy chuck an egg at somebody.

Twitter blurb: Wreckers: Baby-crazy pair lives in country; man’s brother shows up with PTSD and all explodes. Don’t keep hens or secrets, or sing in choirs.

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