Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Low Down (2000) Film Review
The Low Down
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
If this was TV, it would be different. The docu-style handheld camera, the improv-sounding dialogue, the naturalistic acting and the general air of dysfunction gives it a gritty, real life feel.
On film, the characters and story need more depth and pace. As they are, these people have little to recommend them, which must be the point. Where can you find happiness in the rough, dirty city when everyone has emotional baggage, hiding pain or damage, trying to get through without breaking apart.
Frank (Aidan Gillen) is strangely passive and yet capable of temper tantrums. His relationship with Ruby (Kate Ashfield), a bored secretary, is fraught with uncertainty. Their love life has the passion of limp lettuce.
Mike (Dean Lennox Kelly) employs Frank, making props for television shows. He is more positive and energetic and jokey, being the boss, and yet complains privately that longtime girlfriend, Lisa (Samantha Power), has gone off sex.
John (Tobias Menzies) is long, lazy and lean. He works with them, too, but considers himself an artist and therefore above all this model making malarky. He kids around, annoying Mike and amusing Frank. He doesn't know it, but his job's on the line, not that he cares.
There is another guy, Terry (Rupert Proctor), who shares a flat with Frank. He can't find a girl and once tried to kill himself. He looks like he could be an alcoholic if he had the money. He is the saddest of all.
Writer/director Jamie Thraves has the courage to create a cast of characters that you wouldn't cross the road to meet. Frank is muddled and mixed-up. Ruby is afraid to commit. Mike is hearty and boring. Lisa worries about her hair. John sleeps all the time and Terry is high on rejection.
The film is made with honesty and style. Thraves is a director to watch. He needs a script next time, rather than a bunch of no-hopers.Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001