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Sparks and Embers


Stars: Kris Marshall, Annelise Hesme, Waleed Akhtar

Director: Gavin Boyter

Trapped in a stalled lift with the consultant who has just fired him, Tom (Death in Paradise's Marshall) finds that his bĂȘte noire (Hesme) is female, French and beautiful.

Eloise, for such is her name, is also something of a kleptomaniac, as he deduces from the seven pairs of sunglasses in her bag.

As the hours so by, they snap and spar, while a local employee (Akhtar) feeds them toast and water through a gap in the lift.

By the time rescue arrives, animosity has turned to amorousness.

Fast forward five years, and Eloise has left Tom, and is about to go to Paris with her new man when she and Tom run into one another on London's South Bank.

The resulting low-budget film staggers along without really sparking our interest at any stage. Marshall is barely adequate, while Hesme's thick French accent makes her dialogue often difficult to follow. Script, like the performances, is rough and ready.

And, when Marshall declares that 'It's a long and dreary story', it's perhaps tempting potential critical disapproval a shade too far.

David Quinlan

UK 2014. UK Distributor: Bulldog Films. Colour by Panalux.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 15 Dec 2015