Catch Me Daddy (15)

Directed by Daniel Wolfe & Matthew Wolfe
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 27th February 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a stark and harrowing portrayal of Real Life in England writ large.

Set in Yorkshire, with atmospheric winter moorland shots, it is brutal, in more ways than one, in depicting the pursuit of a young couple, Asian girl Laila (Samena Jabeen Ahmed) and Scottish lad Aaron (Conor McCarron), who have escaped from where they had lived and met, by her father's son Zaheer (Ali Ahmad) and his buddies, as well as two low-life bounty hunters, Tony (Gary Lewis) and Barry (Barry Nunney).

There are many dark moments throughout, not only in the despairing momentum of the film ,but also the impressive nighttime cinematography by Robbie Ryan.

The shots of the townscapes and landscapes are raw and unsparing, with a lot of use of artificial light, notably fluorescent lighting, which produces a deadening effect, which adds to the film's sense of being immersed in a type of modern life wasteland.

The desolate buildings depicted was similar to those shown of Manchester in the late 70 featured in a documentary I watched recently about the band Joy Division, and that was 35 years ago. Nothing has changed.

Perhaps reflecting the barren times in England for those unemployed or on little income there is a high incidence of drug taking, particularly of cocaine and cannabis. Conor is seen endlessly smoking spliffs. Even the radical Muslim father knocks back gin like it was water!

What puzzled me was Laila's apparent unawareness of the bad deed she had committed , in the eyes of her honour-bound father, of having a relationship with a white man, and absconding from home to live in a dingy caravan,and the possible dire consequences of what she had done.

It was refreshing to watch a film without recognising any of the actors. It is a largely unknown cast (including many non-actors), which makes the movie more authentic in its impact.

The only slight disappointment of Catch Me Daddy came in the final sequence, which left the conclusion hanging in the balance.

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