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British Film Review: THE PASSING (Yr Ymadawiad)
Directed By Gareth Bryn
Genre: Drama - Horror - Arthouse
Don’t let this one pass by….
Gareth Bryn’s debut feature, a mystery/supernatural tension winder, slides onto screens on 8th April, and what a treat it is for any high-brow lover of all things weird. It will also hopefully see another UK director get snapped up into bigger budget film making. Quite right too, for the sheer depth, and yet artiness of this film deserves an Oscar for its director, just for keeping us entertained, if not fascinated for the 97 minutes it runs for.
Set in a misty, rainy valley in Wales, one might think that through lack of sunlight, the look of this film would be dreary. Far from it; photographed by well-known Cinematographer, Richard Stoddard, this is a film that all lovers of art house photography will appreciate. It’s simply beautiful and a testament to what can be achieved on a tiny budget with hardly any lights, a digital format, and someone who understands how to use lenses and a light meter. It gives the audience a real understanding of the mystical nature of the lovely country we are in too, a country that after all, helped inspire Tolkien to write the ‘Lord of the Rings’. The interiors of the run down cottage and farm buildings are also shot evocatively and add wonderfully to an atmosphere that’s heavy, intense, decaying, and brooding throughout.
There’s also something of a modern day Heathcliff and Cathy about the two lovers as the story opens, something fatalistic. However, as Stanley, a strange local man rescues Cathy from a car crash, and strides over to his farmhouse with her in his arms, that’s where any gothic, romantic reference ends. From here, their story is revealed along with Stanley’s, and slowly intertwines, until it builds to its shocking and poignant last act. Betrayal, jealously, anger, guilt, revenge, regret and atonement, a true haunting and subtle horror pervade, THE PASSING, portrayed by the great acting from the three Welsh actors, Mark Lewis, Dyfan Dwyfor and Annes Elwy . There are no extras, no crowd scenes and nobody passing by. This is a world within a world, and all the darker side of life is here to wallow in and savour, and yet it’s so understated that although the subject matter is big, the story, told a fair bit in pictures alone, is powerful in a way that’s very pervasive but subtle.
THE PASSING will not be forgotten by anyone who sees it, as it has that rare quality in a film, in that it stays in your mind after viewing for days. Well worth the ticket price for anyone who wants suspense, a visual feast, and just that little bit of dark, forbidden intensity.
THE PASSING (Yr Ymadawiad) is in all good cinemas 8th April 2016.
Jane Alexandra Foster
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