Reviewed by: Craig Mcfarlane

“A Faint Heart is hard to find.”

With the Edinburgh Film Festival ending for another year, what better way to close the show than with a belter of a British film. Now, I am not a fan of British comedies, and was slightly sceptical going into this one, but, oh, how I was pleasantly surprised.

Copy picture

This film is a result of Myspace, Vertigo films and FILM4 joining together to create MyMovieMashUp, which wanted to harness the talents of the online community to get involved in the film-making process. There were various cast and crew members picked from MySpaceUK to work on this project which makes this film even more unique.

The story starts off with Richard (Eddie Marsan) a hardened battle re-enactment participant and lover of all things Viking forgetting the funeral of his father-in-law, much to the disdain of his wife Cath (Jessica Hynes), who promptly calls for a separation period - which cuts Richard deeper than any broadsword could ever do. Rather than try to win her affections back he spends his time talking to his band of brothers about how he should win her back. What is our band of merry men to do? Do they let the fair maiden slip from our knight’s grasp? Well, that would be telling.

The cast in Faintheart is excellent; I have been an admirer of Eddie Marsan for years now as he is an actor who amazes me in every role he’s in. Ewen Bremner excels as Julian, Richard’s best friend and a Star Trek lover, who gets involved in an internet romance that starts off in the worst possible way. Hynes is as lovely as ever and is brilliant as the conflicted wife who desperately wants her husband to grow up and be a role model to their teenage son. Paul Nicholls is excellent as the slimy PE teacher Gary who takes a liking to Cath and enjoys sticking the knife into Richard at every possible opportunity.

This is director Vito Rocco’s feature film debut and he passes with flying colours. The film flows as though he has been in this business for years. His handling of the battle scenes is expert. The locations of this film suit the tone perfectly; some of the landscapes hark back to the days of old.

Overall I felt this film was a breath of fresh air for the British film industry as it showed that we can do good comedy with lots of heart without being too sentimental and full of cliché and cheese.

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2008
Share this with others on...
Faintheart packshot
A battle re-enactor struggles to recover the affections of his wife.
Amazon link

Director: Vito Rocco

Writer: David Lemon

Starring: Eddie Marsan, Jessica Hynes, Nick Ball, Ewen Bremner, Paul Nicholls, Chloe Hesar, Calum Chalmers, Kevin Eldon, Phil Lester

Year: 2008

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2008
CFF 2008

Search database: