Despite living longer than ever before, having access to the best medical science and technological advances allowing us to watch all manner of entertainment in our own livings rooms, as a society we’re rather unhappy. Whilst the socio-economic climate in America and Europe may be more polarised than ever before, many who suffer from mental health issues are relatively affluent. This is the starting point for director Robin Swicord’s new film Wakefield.
Successful businessman, with a loving family, beautiful wife and large house in the suburbs – Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) seems to have it all. However, one day he simply decides to disappear. He hides in the attic of his separate garage watching how his wife (Jennifer Garner) copes with his disappearance. As he scavengers for food to survive, he becomes a voyeur; getting a unique insight into the lives of his family and neighbours.
It’s not often an original film comes along, but Wakefield firmly slots into that category. What at first seems to be an odd concept, slowly unravels to become a fascinating voyeuristic drama. Howard is a wholly reprehensible figure; torn between making a heroic surprise entrance and making his family suffer for some unformed petty slight. Wakefield is an unusual concept which, despite sounding uninspiring, proves to be compulsive viewing.
Wakefield is released on DVD by Signature Entertainment on Monday 31 July. It’s available on digital platforms from today.