It Is In Us All – Film Review
by Frank L.
Director – Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Writer – Antonia Campbell-Hughes,
Stars – Cosmo Jarvis, Rhys Mannion, Claes Bang
This is the debut feature film by Campbell-Hughes. Hamish Considine (Cosmo Jarvis), based in London, has inherited from his aunt the farmhouse in which his long deceased mother was brought up. It is situate in a remote location in County Donegal and he decides to visit. He hires a car but travelling to the house he is involved in an accident in which a young boy is killed. Hamish survives the crash but has a fractured arm and general bruising but he discharges himself from the hospital after a day and goes to the house.
A second boy Evan (Rhys Mannion), who was also in the car, is intrigued by Hamish. He catches Hamish’s eye at the funeral. Hamish investigates the house, which reveals snippets of his mother’s past and his own; Evan investigates Hamish and begins to challenge his remote, constrained character. There is a substantial age difference between them and they have strongly opposing opinions as to whether the accident could have been avoided. An unexpressed eroticism seethes between them. No matter what the law may say the boy’s mother (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) has no doubts that Hamish is responsible for her son’s death.
However, the discoveries that Hamish has made in the farmhouse drives him to find out from the locals more about his mother and also to challenge, in zoom telephone calls, his father about his mother. He is a man greatly unsettled by his childhood past. But the nub of the plot is the unsettling relationship which exists between Hamish and Evan. Jarvis in the many scenes in which he is alone fills the screen with the sheer physicality of his presence and Mannion portrays a youth of unusual insights.However as there is very little back story about Hamish and none about Evan it is difficult to discern what precisely is happening between them. This remains troublingly enigmatic.
Notwithstanding this enigma what keeps you engaged is the glorious cinematography by Piers McGrail of the Donegal landscape. In addition whoever was responsible for finding the farmhouse is worthy of high praise. It is a most engaging white – washed edifice.There is also a haunting and enhancing score by Tom Furse which adds to the uncertainty that exists between Hamish and Evan. The film lasts only an hour and thirty minutes and while it is not a must see it definitely has its moments.
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