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Stars: Richard E Grant, Laura Fraser, Tamsin Greig, Antonia Bernath, Adam Fenton, Richard Brake

Director: Richard Bracewell

Is this arty, pretentious film, shot in semi-darkness throughout, a psychological thriller? A study of incipient madness? The film would have you believe it's both, though it isn't really either. Slow, soporific and devoid of the tension it would need keep us jumping, the film is instead full of enigmatic pauses and characters not answering each other. No one here behaves as normal people do.

Working in an experimental cardiology unit, Polly (Fraser) is secretly lusted after by her spooky boss (Grant) and in a relationship with a rock guitarist (Fenton) that seems as dead-end as her job. Polly becomes overwhelmed by depression and isolation and begins hearing things in her flat, including the voice of her boyfriend. It's inconceivable that she didn't realise he's talking while bonking her seemingly attentive sister (Bernath). But then Polly is a bit of a flake to say the least.

The resolution of all this is about as comprehensible as anything else in the film. Director Bracewell tries to make more of it than there really is, but ends up with a jumble of ideas drifting uselessly around in crepuscular photography that only adds to the tedium.

David Quinlan

UK 2008. UK Distributor: Verve Pictures. Colour.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Dec 2010