9 September 2010 | fantasyescapist
A compelling, well-acted low-budget thriller about greed
The title is something that confused me, as we spend the whole time with the titular character, yet at the end of it, comprehension dawns.
Acting: Arterton actually surprised me as in Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans she was uneven and had this contrived, grating posh accent but here, she speaks in her normal accent and is far more consistent in emoting. Goes to show, you can't write of every actor, even after a couple of so-so performances.
As improved as she is, the other two, Marsan and Compston (particularly the former) overshadow her somewhat. Marsan is a cunning and calculating crook and Compston is his naive accomplice. Marsan is particularly menacing and Compston develops his character pretty well. There's a plot twist involving all three that I personally didn't anticipate in that way.
Plot and Pacing: From the unnerving opening without much dialogue to the gripping conclusion, this, to me, wasn't completely predictable. Budget constraints meant the cast remained a trio, but I would've liked to have seen other important characters mentioned.
Cinematography: Conveys a true sense of sickening planning in Alice's kidnapping, humiliation at the hands of the pair, deception, fear - all pretty much what I'd expect from a thriller of this sort.
Score: What little there was there was good and I loved the Radiohead-sounding song with Bjork-esquire vocals Holy Moly by Cathy Davey, as it's suitably mellow for the end of the film.
Overall: This has been called a glorified stage play by some people, but to me, it felt like a film with nuances concerning characters and much like Hard Candy(comparison as it's also indie and had a small cast) was a really taut thriller that had me glued to the screen all the way through.
This is proof that British Cinema is still alive and well and that every now and again, a little gem will come out. A film with flawed characters with a theme of the selfish desires they share.