Solid Air

Solid Air


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

If you can't see the sucker at the gambling table, you're it. In the case of Robert (Brian McCardie), he's it.

This film is stark, but enjoyably so. Robert, otherwise known as Junior, is in deep doo-doo. His cards weren't marked, but his life is. In debt to Doran, the only hope in sight is his dad (Maurice Roeves). Trouble is dad has asbestosis and is fighting tooth and nail for a decent settlement.

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The audience is torn between wanting to believe that Junior is rooting for justice and worrying that he's only there for the money. Upon this conundrum, the film hangs.

Is Junior out to fulfil his filial duty, or is he stuck in a "losers game, when all you get is zero"? He tries to find witnesses, who will testify for his dad, but they are either dead or so debilitated that they can no longer offer solace. Except for one, Wee Jimmy. But after Junior pulls a poker number on him, you imagine he won't be turning up.

There is a truth at the heart of what Junior is trying to do, but he can't quite fathom his own motivation.

This is a deftly packaged film, with a deeply satisfying pay off, which makes the viewer feel that the drama of the previous scenes have been well worth the wait. Despite looking the spit of Robert Carlyle, McCardie is faultless, while Roeves, as a man living on borrowed time, is completely believeable. Their relationship is tense, yet close, and the direction keeps everything moving at a reasonable clip.

Reviewed on: 15 Aug 2003
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Solid Air packshot
Is a gambler really fighting for his dad - or just trying to win cash to pay off a debt?

Director: May Miles Thomas

Writer: May Miles Thomas

Starring: Maurice Roëves, Brian McCardie, Kathy Kiera Clarke, Gary Lewis, James Martin, Laura Harvey, Neil McCormack, Ian Hanmore, Anne Downie, Matthew Bill Boyd, Laurie Ventry

Year: 2002

Runtime: 113 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2003
Reel 2006

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