Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Low Down (2000) Film Review
The Low Down
Reviewed by: Nicola Osborne
Three props designers in their late twenties find themselves facing new responsibilities as they put behind them their pseudo-student existence.
The main story concerns Frank (Gillen) and his decision to buy a place of his own rather than continue his rented flatshare next door to a crack house. At the estate agents he meets the forgiving and chirpy Ruby (Ashford) and his relationship with both her and his long-term friends begins to develop.
In putting together this film Thraves has managed to achieve an impressive level of realism, he has also given the film quite a small-screen feel accompanied with a decidely British set of cultural references.
By choosing music that will date in months and a character who does impressions of such people as vintage comic Les Dawson, Thaves has almost immediately committed his film to obscurity, despite being pretty watchable at this moment. Cameos from Adam & Joe (a nice touch for the tiny proportion of the audience who recognise them) only add to this sense that the film is trying so hard to be trendy it's practically already out-of-date.
The weaknesses means that the film, which has potential, lets itself down badly. Choices of locations, characters and gritty filming all help maintain the realism, but real characters still have to be interesting people we can relate to and want to do well.
The cast does well with what their given... Gillen has by far the most complex character with his co-stars faring rather worse, with only the actor playing his rather odd flatmate really getting a chance to shine.
That most of the cast is drawn from a television background is sometimes terribly distracting, particularly in Gillen's case since his character is not terribly far removed from his career-making role in Queer As Folk. Kate Ashford has also taken a part that does not seem to stretch her, although, aside from the fact that her attraction to Frank seems utterly perplexing, she convinces.
Thraves may be able to produce something intelligent, interesting and just a little different in the future, sadly The Low Down, his debut piece, ain't it.Reviewed on: 26 Mar 2001