Couple in a Hole (12A)

Couple in a Hole (12A)

Directed by Tom Geens
Picturehouse, Liverpool
8th April – 14th April 2016

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

The high quality of cinematography by Sam Care in this film, set in the Pyrenees, is established in the opening moments when you are treated to images of a gorgeously sunlit forest.

Within this forest live, or perhaps exist, John (Paul Higgins) and Karen (Kate Dickie), both from Scotland, who have suffered a family tragedy and have retreated away from urban life and people.

Karen, the mother of the child killed, is the more traumatised of the pair, and is almost continually residing inside what looks like a mud cave, which they call home.

John is left to forage for food and make fires to cook and keep warm.

His partner’s mental and physical well-being is made even worse when she is bitten by a poisonous snake. This is a defining moment in the film.

John is forced to visit the nearby village in search of medical assistance. Whilst there he meets up with Andre (Jerome Kircher), a local farmer, and they form a bond of friendship, unbeknown to Karen and fiercely resented by Andre’s partner Celine (Corinne Masiero).

The music soundtrack, composed by Bristol-based band Beak, (a side project led by Geoff Barrow of Portishead), lends tranquility and oddball character to the central duo’s lifestyle.

Care’s engaging cinematography adds gravitas throughout the movie, notably the abstract qualities of nature, its colours, textures and shapes.

As in keeping with the peculiar components of the film, the final sequence is totally unexpected.

NERVE supports workers struggling for a living wage.

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