Brilliantlove

"Good"

Brilliantlove Review


This low-budget British drama really captures the giddy highs of new love, with a liberated physicality that's rare on screen. And the cast is very good too, even if the story they're in never seems to go anywhere.

In a small English town, Manchester and Noon (Browne and Landry) are madly in love, happy to live in a garage where they do little but have sex and take photos of each other. Life is simple; they steal food to eat and cars for joyrides to the beach. And their conversations start to get more serious just as local artist Franny (Hodgson) sees Manchester's photos and offers him cash for a gallery show. But Noon is furious about making their private life a commercial show, and their happy romance starts to unravel.

The film has feels relaxed and improvised, letting us feel this couple's self-imposed isolation in the sunny countryside. They indulge madly in their passion for each other, so of course some sort of outside force is destined to test their bond. This plot swing isn't hugely convincing, but it's played by the actors with a disarmingly raw honesty, so we kind of go with it. And director Horner keeps things loose and scruffy even when the action shifts to Franny's huge house, where his wife (Arnott) enters the scene to create an increasingly tense four-way dynamic.

As the film's mood changes from bright and easy to edgy and dark, Horner struggles to deepen the drama. Although we vividly feel Manchester and Noon's attraction and infatuation, there isn't much sense of actual love between them.

And this becomes clearer as Manchester weighs the value of artistic fame and romantic integrity. His inability to cope with this decision is played without much explanation, reflecting his lack of self-awareness. This kind of undermines the film's pacing, even as it makes it both intriguing and oddly endearing.

But it also makes the scenes of heart-wrenching relational trouble feel overwrought. And as the art gallery plot starts to drift into satire, Horner's obsession with sex and nudity begins to feel somewhat voyeuristic, especially since the story is mainly seen through Manchester's leery perspective. So in the end the film feels almost as vacuous as the relationship.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Romance

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Ashley Horner

Producer: Ashley Horner, Karl Liegis

Starring: as Noon, as Manchester / Old Man Chester, Stephen Beardsley as Jake, as Comedian, Michael Hodgson as Franny, Arabella Arnott as Leah, Stephen Bent as Noon's Dad

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