Saturday, July 13, 2013

Movie Review: Skeletons (2010)

Skeletons (2010) written and directed by Nick Whitfield

I finally watched one of Mark Kermode's TV Movie of the Week movies! I didn't watch it when it was broadcast, but thanks to BBC's iPlayer, I could watch it later on. It's now gone from the iPlayer since it was TV Movie of the Week about a month ago. Whoops! Hello to Jason Isaacs.

BBFC rating

15 for strong language (there's no MPAA rating)

ZPAA rating

Late teens and up, though mostly because it's so cerebral it might be hard for the young to follow.

Gore level

0.5 out of 10--One guy bumps his head and has a bandage (or plaster as they are called here) on his head.

Other offensive content

Some bad language; some dealings with a prostitute; family abandonment issues; addiction issues; a small bit of occult mumbo-jumbo.

How much fun

The film is very interesting in a cerebral way. I did laugh several times though I am not sure I would describe it as a comedy.

Synopsis & Review

This quirky little film tells the story of two co-workers, Simon and Bennett, who travel around the country (that country being England) providing a sort of investigative service to people. They usually walk to the customer's homes, fill out some paperwork, use some special equipment, and then do something with a cupboard or closet in the house. At first, what's going on isn't explained and viewers have to be patient. Pretty soon it is clear that they can review people's history and see the "skeletons in their closets." The first couple they meet is about to get married and they want the procedure done so there are no secrets between them. Simon and Bennett go upstairs, put on some special equipment, go into the couple's closet, and relive some of their secret memories. She's been to Latin dance classes without telling anyone; he's picked up some prostitutes in a nearby town but has only talked to them about existential/mid-life crisis issues. Except for that last prostitute. Bennett wants to offer some advice to the couple but Simon quickly cuts him off. Their job is just to provide information, not analysis or advice. They leave on foot (most of their traveling is walking) and wait for their next job.

Simon goes off to an isolated spot where he uses his powers to go into his own childhood memories, which is not allowed in their company. The company is not identified by name, though their boss (played by Jason Isaacs) shows up to fill them in on a new assignment. One of the A-level teams in the company had some serious problems, so the boss wants to send Simon and Bennett on an especially difficult case. If they can do the job, they will move up to the A-level and get to work on really significant people (politicians, world leaders, celebrities, etc.). They agree though the case is a lot more complicated then they expect.

The story moves rather slowly and there's no real plot exposition. Viewers need to put two and two together for themselves. I found the movie a little confusing at first but it started to make sense after about twenty minutes. The ending was very satisfying which doesn't always happen in a movie like this. The acting is top-notch with interesting characters. Special effects are almost non-existent but that doesn't detract from the film. It's easy to tell through visual and audio cues when the guys enter memories. The movie probably had a low budget but it doesn't look cheap. It's a solid piece of craftsmanship.

Movie Trailer




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