Hinterland full movie review - A very promising first film from Harry Macqueen
Having an interest in British films that show something different to the usual run down council estate set dramas, or cockney gangster sagas, I was immediately drawn to the premise of Hinterland, which promised a gentle tale.
Two former childhood friends, a boy and a girl now in their twenties, who have a platonic relationship, revisiting their shared past during a couple of days spent at their old holiday home in Cornwall.
Having read some reviews of the film by critics, who almost all gave the film a respectable 3 out of 5 rating, I went into it not expecting too much, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Having read the film being described as slight and insubstantial in almost all of the critical reviews of the film, I feel that they have missed the point somewhat, as on the surface this might appear to be the case, but there are definitely deeper emotions here between the two characters, which are expressed at times through the facial expressions of Harry Macqueen's character, Harvey, and which play themselves out by the actions of both characters at the end of the film.
To think that Hinterland was made on a budget of only £10,000, it's nothing short of amazing. There are some nicely composed shots, which utilise the Cornish coastal landscape well. The pace of the film is fairly slow, and scenes are allowed plenty of space and time to play themselves out, reminiscent of some of the films of the French new wave, and John Cassavetes, but despite these echoes, there is a definite British feel to the somewhat reserved emotions on display for the first three quarters of the film. There are also echoes of the British road movie, Radio On by Chris Petit, in the opening fifteen minutes or so of the film, as the characters make their way to the Cornish holiday home from their respective properties in London in Harvey's old Volvo car.
It's a very promising, and memorable, first film from the director Harry Macqueen, and it will be interesting to see what he could do with a bigger budget in the future. Recommended.