Film Review: Still

Say what you want about British independent films and TV, we’ve got some great actors, directors and technical professionals. Still, could have easily sunk into sub-par soap opera, but instead great direction and some brilliant acting performances make it unusual, yet compelling viewing. The clever trick writer and director Simon Blake manages to pull off is to keep you guessing at exactly what type of film you’re watching, until the very end.

Tom Carver (Aidan Gillen) is a struggling photographer who is trying to come to terms with the loss of his son. He separated from his ex (Amanda Mealing) following the tragedy, and whilst she seems to have sorted her life out, he’s “an accident waiting to happen”. His best mate Ed (Jonathan Slinger) is a journalist whose covering teenage murders, and when Carver starts being terrorised by a gang of youths, he decides to help track them down. Whilst working at a school, Tom meets a young boy whose brother was murdered. Finally, he sees this as a chance of redemption, but as the attacks on him get become more serious, he’s about ready to snap.

Aidan Gillen gives the performance of his life and is totally mesmerising on screen. He really captures a man struggling with his demons, fooling himself and desperately attempting to move on with his life. Simon Blake proves to be a master of sleight of hand. The action on screen teases as to the nature of his true intentions. Still avoids all the pitfalls of a modern drama whilst also painting a depressingly realistic picture of a tragic chain of events. Still is one of the most surprising, gritty and impressive British films I’ve seen in a long time.

Still is out in cinemas on Friday.

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