This is the long-awaited directing, writing and producing debut of Karl Howman, best known for playing Jacko in TV’s ‘Brush Strokes’ and here working with Ethem Cetintas, a director with whom he’s also made commercials. It tells of a single father, Frank (Ray Winstone), whose only daughter, Helen (Lois Winstone), a student living with her boyfriend, dies of an overdose, leaving Frank distraught and on the trail of her secret life. Credit is due to Cetintas and Howman for trying to take a low-key, dialogue-light approach to the film’s central questions, focusing more on the father’s grief and shooting attractively in ’Scope. But so many things are wrong with the film: the excessive voiceover from Winstone; the ponderous music; most of the acting bar Winstone (especially a miscast Chloe Howman, Karl’s daughter, as Helen’s friend Emma); the idea that there’s any sort of underworld in its anodyne Wiltshire locations; some fruity characters, not least a ridiculous, camp palm reader, and some even more fruity dialogue, especially a scene in which grief is compared to a shrew living in a person’s chest. As a mystery, it’s lifeless. As a study in grief, it’s too distracting to make an impact.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Ethem Cetintas, Karl Howman|
|Screenwriter:||Karl Howman, Ethem Cetintas|