Film Review: Barbarians

Adam and Lucas arguing

Housing prices seem to be rising inexorably, meaning that anyone who can afford to get on the housing ladder is likely to have a cash cow for some time to come. However, the pandemic has made many reassess their priorities. People are moving out of cities in droves in order to be near to the countryside or the coast. Attracted by promises of a utopian lifestyle, peace and tranquillity. This is putting incredible strain on local communities, pricing those born and bred in these areas out of the market. Barbarians considers this issue and many more.

Adam (Iwan Rheon) and Eva (Catalina Sandino Moreno) are in their dream house. They have left their busy urban lives behind and moved to the country. It’s his birthday and the pair are preparing to officially take ownership of the property this evening. Their friend, and his former business partner, Lucas (Tom Cullen) is due to arrive any minute, to complete the formalities and celebrate. The property developer is joined by his girlfriend Chloe (Inès Spiridonov) and they have their own exciting news.

Barbarians takes a lot of familiar and oft-used elements and does something fresh and interesting with them. There are the familiar cliches and tropes of this kind of British/Irish drama, but instead of following the usual paths writer/director Charles Dorfman breaks new ground. Creating a film which succeeds largely due to great writing and good acting. Barbarians tackles a number of pressing social issues from an unique angle.

Barbarians opens in select US cinemas, Digital Platforms and VOD on 1 April.

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