‘It’s a bit fucking bleak, isn’t it?’ says Nikki (Natalie Press) soon after her arrival at a remote Hebridean island – and she’s not wrong. As dark and mysterious as the film, this island is a hostile host for Nikki, a woman ravaged by a life in care homes. On finding her real mother (Janet McTeer), Nikki moves in as a lodger but fails to tell her or her half-brother Calum (Colin Morgan) her true identity. It’s a suspenseful scenario – especially when Calum is drawn to Nikki – but the delivery doesn’t always ring true. McTeer’s character is neglected, and while Morgan brings a beguiling brand of disturbed charm, the shifts in tone in Press’s character don’t form a convincing picture of a conflicted psyche. Still, debut directors Elizabeth Mitchell and Brek Taylor succeed in creating a vivid sense of place, and fans of Jane Rogers’s source novel may be forgiving. There’s talent here, but it’s all a bit fitful.
Friday April 22 2011
Cast and crew
Elizabeth Mitchell, Brek Taylor