Given the material he began with - Lucy Irvine's rambling, disconnected, soapy saga of love turned sour in a Pacific paradise - Roeg has produced a remarkably straightforward narrative which, while encapsulating all his previous obsessions and themes (strangers in strange lands, love and hate and the whole damn thing), irons out all the wrinkles and time warps which were the hallmarks of his earlier works. In fact, what we get is surprisingly plain sailing through the Blue Lagoon. Gerald (Reed) is a beer-bellied mcp ('Give me a woman that can cook, sew and put up a tent') who advertises for an island soulmate and winds up with Lucy (Donohue), a frustrated London Inland Revenue clerk up for a voyage of self-discovery. Forced into a marriage of convenience, this ill-matched, ill-equipped couple rapidly becomes a non-item when the Tuin island paradise is reached - she refuses to put out, he refuses to put up the shelter, both refuse to face reality. In fact it's a lifetime of marriage - courtship, estrangement, understanding and separation - condensed into a single year. All of which makes for less than comfortable viewing, but real life rarely is, be it in Tuin or Tooting.
Cast and crew
Oliver Reed Amanda Donohue Georgina Hale Frances Barber Tony Rickards Todd Rippon