Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7.5/10
Cast: Alice Lowe, Jo Hartley, Kayvan Novak, Gemma Whelen, Kate Dickie, Tom Davis, Dan Renton, Eileen Davies, Tom Meeten, Mike Wozniak, Sara Dee, Grace Calder, Marc Bessant, Leila Hoffman, Delia Moon, Jaqueline Wright, David Puckridge, Elen Rattenbury.
The happiness in pregnancy can sometimes be overshadowed by emotions that in others could be seen as causes for concern, for some it is a joy, for others it can be the start of a nightmare, a march down a road in which nobody is safe; especially not the male population to whom a single wrong word or accidental view point can see them metaphorically beaten.
It is a premise that is at the heart of Alice Lowe’s Prevenge, a film in which shows that once a baby is on the way, your life is never your own again.
Prevenge is a mixed bag of a film, a piece of cinema that perhaps mimics the emotions of pregnancy perfectly, the ups and downs, the feelings of perfection and nurturing completely at odds with the sensation of being alone and carrying something alien inside of the body, being consumed by something that you want to love but terrified that eventually you will let down and could abandon. It is in this respect that film is one to watch, one to take note of, yet it also feels slightly disjointed, haphazard, the true purpose of its nature not revealing itself until late in the script and one that feels hurried and anxious to be realised into the world.
There is also the situation of tight control within the film, written, starring and directing your own cinematic feature is not normally a happy marriage, there is too much going on to really convey art as a pliable message, as a symbol of fluidity. Combining two of those particular jobs often works well but three can be seen as taking the Sous Chef word that the pudding taken out of the oven is perfect and not allowing the Head Chef to cast a more senior eye over it, spotting any imperfections that may have occurred. Not that this detracts from Alice Lowe’s vision, however it still touches upon just how much creative control is taken for granted.
Whilst virtually every other character on screen is given only enough time to interact with the audience before being quickly dispatched, in the scenes with Gemma Whelen and Kate Dickie the film grabs the attention of the viewer, the spark between the women one that does revel in its black comedy value. Otherwise, the film has this disjointed, almost abject love for it, there is no middle ground, either the film is cared for or it feels neglected.
A unique offering, Prevenge is a film thirsty for attention and in some regards finds itself sated, otherwise it is an affair not to be taken too seriously.
Ian D. Hall