Not quite up to snuff
Glib Reviews of Recently Released DVDs
- Directed By Ben Wheatley
My expectations of this film were way too high.
One of the hottest directors around bites off a bit more than he can chew in “A Field In England.” The film is more like ‘a first film’ than his great first feature, 2009’s “Down Terrace” which is one of my favourites of the last ten years. A field in england tries really hard to capture a Witchfinder General/Cromwell era vibe. Shot in a murky black and white, the film is almost psychedelic. If they had gone a bit more over the top with the trippy stuff, I think the picture would have been more effective.
Some folks of various stations on the battlefield, are caught up in a big battle in said Cromwell era civil war. One of them is an astrologer, who is cagey about why he is out wandering shell shocked, others are conscripts, one even something of a soldier. Eventually they find someone dressed like a musketeer, and it turns out that he is who the astrologer was sent to capture. Instead the astrologer is captured, violence and vaguely magical hijinks ensue.
There is some mushroom eating, and some trippy adventures, horrors, that are overplayed in the trailer. Interesting script, with language that feels era appropriate, most of the time, and perhaps a bit too open ended and vague.
Sometimes, the 'what the fuck just happened,' is a rhetorical question. For me anyway; some ineffable quality was missing. The whole time, I was thinking, what more could they have done to make you more engaged, and less put off by the weirdness, that maybe was not weird enough to give the film the spooky heft it was looking for.
Definitely my least favourite Wheatley film, and the one maybe, I had the highest hopes for. Ah well. Worth checking out for fans and those with an interest in flintlock pistols.
5.89954 magic rope games that make everyone scream outta 10