Body At Brighton Rock…
Wendy (Fontes) is a new national park guide/ranger. She isn’t a very good one either, she cares nothing for the job, is wildly out of her depth and it shows. She trades trails with another guide and after going on her rounds, she ends up in the wrong place both location wise and also because she finds a dead body. Low on experience and all alone Wendy must spend the night guarding the body until the morning.
Fear and isolation play a big part in creating the tension in Body At Brighton Rock. The isolation is the cause of the fear and whilst Wendy herself doesn’t have a fear of isolation it does cause every sound, every movement in the perhpiral vision becomes a possible threat and the threat level is at maximum. Ineptitude leads Wendy down a dark path – a figurative one, where all her fears both external and internal fears come to the surface. Fontes is pretty much front and centre the entire film and her performance is very good, hitting all the notes she should and giving the audience a very interesting character to spend time with.
The soundtrack and sound design are used to great effect, every twig crack, animal noise is crispy and clear, whilst the music suits the film perfectly and the music sting just keep the tension simmering away. The film is also shot beautifully by Hannah Getz, gorgeous country that is shot in ways that further enhance just how great it looks, even the night scenes look amazing.
Writer and director Roxanne Benjamin (making her first feature here) does a good job too, demonstrating that clearly more feature length directing jobs are in her future, in a very assured debut. The writing isn’t quite as good, not the dialogue but the threat(s) that were so palpable at the beginning section of the film, slowly become less worrying and as a result the film lost a lot of the tension that it had worked so hard to get in the first place.
Ultimately the film is about battling your inner negative voice, that says you can’t or won’t be able to do what is asked of you. How others perceive you and your abilities or lack of them and how you can rise above that and find your grit when required.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Magnet Pictures