A field in England is where I’ll get pegged out for not really understanding this film.


Directed by: Ben Wheatley

Written by: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump

Featuring: Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, Peter Ferdinando, Ryan Pope

Fleeing from a civil war battle, unseen beyond a thick hedge, three men end up together in a field. They are soon apprehended by a dangerous man called Cutler who forces them to help him search the field. After finding his master, O’Neil, things slowly descend into chaos and madness as reality distorts during their quest for the treasure that is supposedly within the field.

What can I say? This is marvellously filmed with striking black and white scenes framed beautifully and when watching it I did believe I was watching 17th century men in the midst of the English Civil War [even though I dispute the use of Anglo-Saxon sexual swear-words by the average person at that time]. The acting by all the protagonists is exemplary. Reece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley, in particular, give their usual top-draw performance and I always look forward to seeing them.

I do have a problem with the film because it is ‘art-house’. Therefore the film has to take a weird, nonsensical severe left turn straight after a scene where the protagonists eat mushrooms. This is probably deliberate.

I used to be a great fan of David Lynch and this film is probably as close to a Lynchian film that you can see this side of….David Lynch. Unfortunately after 51 years on the planet this type of  ‘figure it out for yourself, not having to have anything make sense, filming what you I like because I like it’, film making is becoming very tiring for me – I admit I must be getting old and more intolerant.

I don’t mind slow stories, action films, or romance and I actually like low budget independent films but when I have to work out what is going on and it does not matter if I am right or wrong because everyone’s view is valid and incorrect at the same time, I start to get tired.

A lot of the images were startling and effective in this film and I took it that the characters were dead from the get-go and this is completely correct because every view is correct. In short, there are no answers only questions and too many questions about a film make it seem like some sort of university course.

I did enjoy the film – but I have not thought about it since [which I think is not what the director intended] and I will not watch it again or seek out any other Ben Wheatley films that are in a similar vein to this.

I will still watch Michael Smiley and Reece Shearmith when they come on in TV and the occasional film. I will just make sure I read the synopsis of any film and see it contains ‘art-house’.

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