Saturday 9 April 2016

"The Passing" (Guardian 08/04/16)

The Passing ***
Dir: Gareth Bryn. With: Mark Lewis Jones, Annes Elwy, Dyfan Dwyfor. 89 mins. Cert: 15

A rare Welsh-language release, this handsome S4C-produced chiller actually sustains itself for a while on the wordless rhythms and textures of woodsman Mark Lewis Jones’ life: long, lonely rounds of digging and praying that promise, as elsewhere, that there will eventually be blood. His routine is disrupted when young lovers Annes Elwy and Dyfan Dwyfor plunge their car into a nearby stream, cueing a period of increasingly tense cohabitation as repressed memories and emotions are hauled to the surface like water from the local well. This slowburn process may disappoint the crash-bang-wallop crowd, who possibly demand more bang for their bucks nowadays than spectral presences at windows. Yet it’s assuredly played, and its melancholy look and feel – handing everyone fading photographs of brighter, better days – ensures it lingers longer than most homegrown genre fare: writer Ed Talfan and director Gareth Bryn find in their characters’ apparent isolation something simultaneously beautiful, terrifying and sad.

The Passing is now playing in selected cinemas. 

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