July 14, 2013

A Field In England (2013)

A Field In England (2013)
Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Country: UK

Review: English filmmaker Ben Wheatley confirms, once and for all, his immense versatility and creative quality with the puzzling and odd “A Field in England”. After the triumphant “Sightseers”, one of the brightest dark comedies recently released, he now turns toward a totally different approach. A sort of avant-garde experimentalism was used, featuring a grotesquely appealing cinematography with foggy, rural landscapes in black-and-white; a more significant usage of sound, whether isolated or in the form of troubadour songs that helped to create the ambiance; a rough humor that matches perfectly with the harrowing story depicted; and a wildly violent side that not even his bleak “Kill List” can come close. The story is carried in a baffling way, when during the 17th century English Civil War an alchemist called Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) joins a group of deserters who were compelled to find a mysterious treasure under the orders of the tyrannical Irishman O’Neill (Michael Smiley). Without anything to eat in the fields except hallucinogenic mushrooms, the characters set off on a trip into obscurity, threatening one another while trying to understand the evil forces that surround them. The hypnotic “A Field in England” gets into your senses with all the screams, madness, and visceral behaviors of its characters, being a violent art-house film with no limits for the mind that is closer to the insanity than to reality.Its audacity proves Wheatley as a consistent director who showed not to be afraid of taking bold and risky moves.

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