Eye For Film >> Movies >> Colour (2012) Film Review
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
We know something is off as we watch her get dressed in the shed. Holly is much like other girls, but things aren't going well for her mother. Sam isn't well, not at all, but the extent of her difficulties only becomes apparent as Colour fills in.
This is part of Channel Four's Coming Up scheme, which pairs first time writers and directors with excellent casts and the keys to a really big cupboard full of film-making stuff. In Holly's house that cupboard is full of cleaning supplies - white paint, bleach. This is uncomfortable stuff. As Sam, MyAnna Buring's performance is compelling, a gentler horror than her turns in Twilight: Breaking Dawn or The Descent, but all the more powerful for its scope - this isn't kitchen-sink as much as obsessional bath-tub, the terror that comes from behind the eyes.
Holly's life is routine, increasingly obviously too much so, until she meets André. The boy next door is from the Congo, and his home life is quite distinct from hers - it's full of colour, for a start. As their friendship grows, its consequences for all three of them are significant. Holly is played by Leah Nathan, an excellent turn - smiles and joy and consternation, and the difficulties in her relationship with her mother are apparent. Michael Ajao (recently seen in Attack The Block) is great,managing the matter of factness of youth and that particular concern for others that characterises a healthy childhood.
Vivienne Franzmann's script is charming, again the tonal shifts are important - from Holly's cheerful dismissal of school "I ain't going, tell 'em I puked, laters baked potaters" to a terrifying sequence where Sam's home is invaded by "Gas Direct Limited". Lynsey Miller's direction is confident, there's some excellent detail work, the camera on cups and hands as Sam fights with her sister, the variety within the handful of sets, the re-framing of action between cameras - what is for one a joyous occasion is for another an attack.
It features a song by Lucy Rose - First - whose gentle singer/songwriter/guitar nature fits well. As with the rest of Coming Up, it's technically astute (that film-making cupboard has some really good stuff in it), in particular the set-design and dressing. These are credible domestic landscapes, telling in their details. Colour is about perspective, amazingly so - what's seen and unseen, and how it's seen, and what's lurking behind, and all that. It's disturbing, affecting, but not depressing. It can be hard for a short to establish its tone in a small space, but Colour is fast, eye-catching, brilliant.Reviewed on: 04 Jul 2012