Saturday, 12 March 2011

Archipelago -- Joanna Hogg, 2010

 I would describe this as a stunningly hypnotic, English middle-class family drama. The film is shot so beautifully, making use of the natural light and nature; allowing us to enjoy it photographically with long takes.

The tension between the family is something we've all experienced but it's orchestrated so culturally, but perhaps in a somewhat esoteric nature. I feel this is a far superior and honest view of Britain rather than other films that seem to enjoy showing the country as the bastard it is.

The family in the film have a lot of tensions with the son wanting to leave for charitable work in Africa, and the mother seems to be having marital problems what with the absence of their father.

It all takes place on the Scilly Isles off of Cornwall with the purpose of the trip being a farewell to the son who's due to leave, but throughout the film he starts having doubts about himself.

Despite being so alluring, the film offers more to think about than just angelic cinematography. It's a great insight into how families cause chaos not by what they say, but what they don't. The acting is superb; certain scenes highlight this without mass dialogue; it certainly shows the director and cast have a lot talent to work with something so delicate as domestics.

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