Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"Poor Simon, bless him, acts his socks off trying to make it make sense."

The first thing most people learn about the art of crafting narrative, usually by way of weary primary school teachers, is that it is Not Good Enough to end a story with 'and then I woke up and it was all a dream'. Sensation - which you will be surprised to learn is actually director Martin Grof's second feature film - not only does that but repeats the trick whenever it runs out of ideas, which is to say frequently.

Purportedly a film about people with enhanced senses, this tangled mess makes no sense whatsoever. Eugene Simon (best known for playing Lancel Lanister in Game Of Thrones and looking just as lost here) plays Andrew, a postman who lives in the kind of nice suburban house impossible to afford on a young postman's salary but doesn't seem to have much family support, his father being a mystery to him and his mother in a psychiatric institution. With this in mind he has submitted his DNA to a profiling service, hoping to find long lost relatives. What he finds instead is a doctor (Alastair G Cumming) whose behaviour in the consulting room is so bizarre that one wishes Andrew would call for assistance in case the man is having a stroke or some kind of psychotic episode.

Copy picture

Given the threats and insinuations made by this barely comprehensible character, one would think that Andrew would head straight for Trading Standards, perhaps dropping by the headquarters of the BMJ en route. Instead he wanders sulkily home to practice playing his violin in his bay window like a misplaced Neil Gaiman character. There he is observed by some extraordinarily twee Shady Characters before finding himself in the grip of a mysterious agency. Are they his friends, there to help him develop super sensory powers after discovering a secret in his genes? Are they his enemies, there to exploit his abilities for evil? Are they real at all, or are they just a dream? Do you care?

Poor Simon, bless him, acts his socks off trying to make it make sense, which gives him the kind of overly sincere dimwit energy that made Lancel by turns amusing and insufferable. One can't help but feel for him because no-one else is trying. Furthermore, the dialogue is as ridiculous as the narrative, and the more he strains to retain some natural quality, the more absurd his co-stars sound. Given the way the plot chops and changes, there are no other consistent characters for us to connect with. One might pity Andrew for being caught up in this tedious nonsense but it's hard to feel anything else.

It's quite probable that everyone involved with this is lovely and really didn't mean for it to turn out so badly. They're just clearly not cut out to make films. At least, not until they've gone back to primary school and paid more attention.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2021
Share this with others on...
Sensation packshot
When a lowly postman is inducted into a top-secret superhuman DNA program at a research facility, it's revealed that he'll be able to receive, control and send information based on the senses of others.

Director: Martin Grof

Writer: Magdalena Drahovska, Martin Grof

Starring: Eugene Simon, Emily Wyatt, Jennifer Martin

Year: 2021

Runtime: 96 minutes

Country: UK


Search database: