Keane

Firstly Damian Lewis is superb as William Keane I have never seen a portrayal of madness from someone who wasn’t actually mad. He twitches and cries and when not whispering to himself shouts out randomly. The film is him and he is the film. The camera never leaves his side and most of the focus is close in on his immensely expressive face which give the whole film a kind of claustrophobic tunnel vision, not only does it add to the fragility of the character it is an uneasy watch as a viewer. The camera work has Soderbergh written all over it (he is executive producer) and there is a real sense that Kerrigan has paid attention to the master. Opening in a bus depot Will shuffles around looking for his lost daughter, asking everyone and anyone if they have seen her, I found myself feeling his desperation and when he wanders aimlessly through a busy road screaming her name you can’t help but feel his pain. As the story progresses he meets and connects with Lynn who is staying in the same hotel and has a daughter the same age as his would be. Never flinching from the reality of madness Will’s motives are never really clear as to why he is doing some of the things like looking after Lynn’s daughter, buying her things, taking her out, is he trying to replace the daughter he lost? Or is he insane and grooming her for a later abduction? And that is the films trick it gets under your skin but you are never really sure why, should you feel sorry for Will as he curls in a ball on a grass verge in the rain or should your be apprehensive that in his mental state he might do something horrific to this innocent child. For the first time in ages this film pulled me in and gripped me really tight I forgot I was in a room full of people and felt like I was alone, alone like the character in the film. Here its is not the script, music or even the washed out colours that make it (although they all add to the atmosphere) no here it is the startling performance from Lewis and the unnerving camera work that suck you into the world of Keane, spin you round and spit you out without any real answers leaving you emotionally touched, deeply saddened and strangely curious.

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