Hinterland – Review by LAW
Directed by Harry McQueen
Writer: Harry Macqueen
Stars: Lori Campbell, Harry Macqueen
Hinterland is the directorial debut of actor Harry McQueen, who also wrote and stars in the movie. McQueen is best known for his role in “Me and Orson Wells” and Hinterland is a two hander between McQueen and singer songwriter Lori Campbell. This is a gentle, slow burner that follows a weekend shared by two childhood friends, Harvey and Lola. Lola is a free spirit, spending her 20’s travelling the world. Harvey is reserved, a writer who is afraid to take risks and is currently still living with his parents attempting to finish his debut novel. Lola returns home because her parents have suddenly split up due to her father’s infidelity.
Harvey feels that Lola needs some time out from the situation so suggests that they spend a weekend in Cornwall, at his mother’s holiday home, a place where they spent their summer holidays as children. The movie is part road movie, with the audience the observer from the back seat of Harvey’s car. The car journey down is very non-eventful; listening to the news, Lola sitting in the front of the car with guitar in hand and woolly hat firmly on head. But the car journey enforces an intimacy between the two that the intervening years has stripped away and sets up the weekends emotional events.
Over the weekend Lola jokes about Harvey being a potential love interest in childhood, sharing a memory through the walkie talkies she found in her parent’s attic, of the time she tried to kiss him when they were children. But the relationship between them is more brother and sisterly, as they share a bath in their underwear. Harvey’s feelings towards Lola change in front of our eyes as he has an awakening of new found feelings towards Lola. However, there is very little chemistry between the two leads and so much of your emotion around this blossoming unrequited love is how much it might remind you of the experience yourself. There is a gut wrenching moment when Harvey does his incompetent best at declaring his devotion but Lola is so self absorbed that she fails to notice, which reminded me of every boy I fancied as a teenager ever.
Hinterland was nominated for the Best UK Feature at the Raindance film festival. It makes much of being a carbon neutral movie, meaning that the film making produced as few emissions as possible and that it was made on a shoe string budget of £10,000. For a large portion of this movie I wondered if this was the burgeoning British mumble-core movement as the sound quality was a little dubious. It has a relatively short running time of 78 mins, which might be the maximum amount of time you might want to spend in Lola and Harvey’s company.
Hinterland is in cinemas and on demand from 27th February