August 02, 2013

Shell (2012)

Shell (2012)
Directed by: Scott Graham
Country: UK

Review: Scott Graham’s first feature film “Shell” was based on his 2007’s short with the same name, being a compelling drama set in a remote place of Scottish Highlands, and centered on a father-daughter relationship. Shell (Chloe Pirri) doesn’t have a very stimulating life for a 17-year-old girl. She lives in the middle of nowhere with her epileptic father, Pete (Joseph Mawie), who owns a garage and a gas station, where she works daily as attendant. At night she cooks their meal, and watches her father washing himself. She has to keep an eye on him whenever she can due to recurrent epileptic crisis. Sometimes the chilling cold that sweeps the region in the middle of the night, makes her jump from her bed to her father’s, creating a visible discomfort. It was very clear that Shell’s dream was to leave the place, and so, the only contact she have with the outside world was when somebody arrived to fuel or ask for help. This kind of situations created a tense jealousy in them that made me suspicious about this familiar, yet strange dependence. Using a minimalist concept, Graham knew how to cook thoroughly this story, increasing my curiosity about what the characters feel and think. The grave silences and revelatory looks speak for themselves, and the film runs patiently towards its freeing ending. Penetrating and uncomfortable, “Shell” is an outstanding film that shall not be ignored.

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