23 June 2010 | Miakmynov
A cerebral Ondine?
Belying its' title, 'Nothing Personal' is clearly a very personal film. Set on the west coast of Ireland, this two-hander explores the decision to leave virtually everything behind and offers a study of loneliness and reconnection through a gradual re-building of trust. With strong performances from both leads, I was increasingly absorbed as their characters unfolded, and the film is at its' best in the gentle humour and the slowly developing relationship between them; there are some lovely touches and moments, like stopping the wind blowing through the grass.
Unfortunately this undoubted emotional engagement seems to have come at the expense of narrative coherence. Whilst I don't expect everything handed to me on a plate, it felt quite an uphill struggle trying to follow the Director's clues about what was actually happening. I couldn't quite work out if the chronology was chopped up or not, and I felt the main device of leaving history unspoken between the pair was unnecessarily allowed to overwhelm plot lucidity at times, leaving me with too many unanswered questions for it to be a consistently rewarding experience; I look forward to reading the future IMDb message board musings of more perceptive viewers. I suspect the film will be compared to Ondine – similar location and 'strong, mysterious, beautiful foreigner' theme –and whilst undoubtedly more cerebral and emotionally resonant, it's a shame that its' increasing tendency to veer into a somewhat perplexing swamp rather lets it down.
If you have a penchant for 'hands swirling round in seaweed' close-ups, then this is certainly the film for you – otherwise, despite its' spirit and intrigue, the level of confusion means that for me, it won't stay in the memory for too long.