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  • A FIELD IN ENGLAND is an incredibly brilliant and haunting film. While it may look like a psychedelic horror movie, like WITCH FINDER GENERAL, in reality it is a very straightforward film based very directly on the English Civil War itself.

    O'Neill, the Irish alchemist who tries to enslave Whitehead and his friends, is clearly based on the English monarch Charles I. Like Charles, O'Neill is an arrogant man who claims not only total earthly power, but the right to pass judgment on men and to interfere with the cosmos itself. Just as Charles I saw himself as chosen by God (not the people) to rule as an absolute monarch, so O'Neill sees himself as a god on earth.

    Whitehead, the timid religious scholar who attempts to bring O'Neill to justice, represents the Puritan conscience of England. His evolution in the film from a meek, submissive cowardly man to a military hero parallels the way the Puritans themselves evolved from a hunted, despised minority to a powerful army of spiritual and political authority, able to recreate England in their own image.

    What the movie does is not just to imitate history but to reflect on its deeper meaning. Notice how the earthy, ignorant common soldiers switch their allegiance in the course of the nightmarish conflict in the field. At first they feel great contempt for Whitehead, the Puritan. They ridicule his "soft hands" and laugh when he is degraded and tortured and forced to run on a leash like a dog. In the same way, the English of Shakespeare's time (like Shakespeare himself) tended to regard the Puritans as a joke. But over time, as O'Neill proves more and more arrogant and unstable, the soldiers (like the English common people) begin to respond to Whitehead's efforts to awaken their sense of justice and their own moral dignity. By the end of the film, even the lowliest and most ignorant of the soldiers is willing to sacrifice his own life in Whitehead's cause, and Whitehead himself has changed from a pitiful outsider to the leader of the tiny band of "rebels." The fall of O'Neil parallels the fall of Charles I, just as the rise of Whitehead mirrors the success of the Puritan revolution.
  • A Field in England is most notable for being the first British film to be simultaneously released across every format on the same night. It has been released theatrically, pay-per-view, on DVD and on free television. It's a pretty audacious move and one that I hope works out for the film-makers as it could be a new way for left-field films to get the go-ahead to get made at all. It also reminded me of what it used to be like in the days before video recorders when I was a little kid. Whenever a movie came on TV it was a cultural event as a large percentage of the population sat down to watch it at the same time – we couldn't record it to watch it later or pause it to go and make a cup of tea we simply had to make time for it at the given moment and watch. I obviously wouldn't swap the flexibility we have nowadays but there was something to be said for sharing a movie at the same time as millions of others. And in a sense, the simultaneous cinema and TV release of A Field in England brings back this scenario and for that I am quite thankful.

    The film itself? Well, it's a quite difficult one to accurately judge on a single viewing, as it was pretty confusing on the whole. Director Ben Wheatley said that he wanted to transport the viewer into the world of Civil War England with little exposition to explain what was going on. He wanted us to enter a world where the characters do things that would be second nature to them without actually explaining to us why they were doing them. It's a reasonable enough idea as events in the film appear somewhat surreal as a result. Having said that, I think it's obvious that the story is bizarre regardless of this. It involves an alchemist's assistant and some soldiers fleeing a battle and meeting an ominous cavalier in a field. The latter is looking for some unspecified treasure and he uses these men to find it. Throw in some magic mushrooms to complicate matters and you have one very weird movie.

    I'm not 100% certain what to make of it on one viewing. It frustrated me a bit I have to admit, as it didn't necessarily make the most of the sinister possibilities inherent in its storyline. And by the end I really wasn't all that sure what had just happened. But it did intrigue me a little and I would be interested in returning to it at some later point. The cinematography was very good at times, while the soundtrack had an interesting mix of medieval drums, folk and ambient electronica. Acting was good enough with Reece Shearsmith of The League of Gentlemen always a welcome presence, while Michael Smiley was good as the cavalier. I'm not entirely convinced by A Field in England at the minute but I feel like unique films of this type should at least be encouraged in the UK so for that reason I am going to cut it some slack.
  • I've seen and enjoyed the last few films from Wheatley – not to the point that I love him but certainly to the point that I know he will bring me something interesting as a total package. He seems to do "brooding tone" very well while also engaging with plots, dark humor and generally well shot films. This one starts on the same way, moving characters into place and setting up some weird supernatural scenario which appears to be building and building. I was engaged by this but once we reach a certain point, it appears that this changes and it becomes almost nothing about a narrative flow and entirely about the visual and stylistic chaos of the final third.

    Plot wise the film delivers nothing in this part. Characters who were dead show up, violent deaths occur, massive visions and tripping out. Those that defend the film say that you just need to go with this and that perhaps those that don't just don't like this sort of experience; I would point to 2001, it delivers content like this but does so in a way that makes sense and fits with the plot. In this case it is hard not to see it as being done for the sake of it and this is partly because the film is generally very aesthetically pleasing. The staged shots look great, the weird ideas are presented in a way that works (the two main "on a rope" scenes), the music produces a great sense of dread and generally it is a very well shot film. So when it offers nothing in the narrative sense, it is hard not to think that perhaps it has been focusing on the style all along and that any sense of a plot was merely just to get it where it needed to be so it could unleash stylistically.

    Don't get me wrong, I liked it from this point of view but even having some structure or some basic narrative flow would have made it a good film, not just one that feels like the director was playing with how it looks and sounds. The cast deliver what is asked of them very well and their involvement is total, there are no bad performances here and I really liked the "small cast, small space" idea. Problem is that none of them have characters, just moments. They are great in this scene and in the next, but nothing bridges them. Indeed this is true of the whole film. Read the positive reviews here – they talk about how awesome a certain scene was or how great a certain visual trick was, but they really are not so clear about what was good about the film as a whole. Truth is I agree – there are lots of good individual moments, because the snippets are all cool to look at and very well delivered, but this isn't a music video, a fashion shoot or a 20 second commercial, it is a feature film that proposes to have a plot – but only proposes it.

    For what it does well the film should be commended, but to ride on aesthetics alone for 90 minutes is a big ask and it is beyond this film. The ideas and structures probably cover it for fir the first half, but after this it really goes all out for the looks and style and, once you've had this and only this for 10 minutes then it starts getting boring without substance – and unfortunately once you hit that wall, there is probably still 20-30 minutes left to go, meaning it gets tiresome and a bit annoying. Worth a look for what it does well, but even on this level it has its limits – if this film is what he wanted to do then it would have worked much, much better as a 45 minute short.
  • Deimos-remus19 September 2016
    Ben Wheatley is an enigmatic and ambiguous director, though understandably very polarizing because of such. By my experience, his films take several viewings to totally appreciate, but when that time comes, it's a treat.

    Field in England expertly subverts expectations of a trippy and hallucinatory experience by being filmed in stark, gorgeous, black and white cinematography. It also subverts the expectations that come with a period war film by not focusing on warfare and adding eccentric anachronisms and startling stylistic sequences. The performers are all excellent in their roles, and the story does an incredible job of maintaining its strange and ancient-feeling British folkloric fairy-tale roots.

    Certainly one of the most dazzlingly original and unique genre movies to be released in quite some time.
  • 'A Field in England' is exactly the film it tells you it's going to be: set entirely within said field, it tells the story of a group of soldiers from the English Civil War going mad from a combination of (the 17th century version of) shell-shock, their own religious beliefs, and an unhealthy dose of magic mushrooms. It's brilliantly acted, imaginatively shot and scripted, and yet, having watched it, I find it very hard to say what it's actually about. Stylistically, and atmospherically, it's coherent; yet its artistic success is, apparently intentionally, not supported by logic. I think it does what it sets out to do; but what exactly that is, it's harder to say.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Some blokes who don't want to get killed during the English Civil War manage to escape from the fighting into a neighbouring field ("a field in England", geddit?) where, annoyingly, they fail to leg it as fast as they can away from the fighting: instead they spend an hour and a half faffing around in the company of an unstable fellow from the other side of the battle. Or from some other side than theirs.

    Now it's entirely possible that this has some deeper significance than is immediately apparent: perhaps it is some sort of comment on the human condition, or on England's schizophrenic attitude towards its own history or the like. Or perhaps I am indeed too stupid to divine the director's true intentions, or to take pride in my own role as determinant of the true meaning of the film.

    But I think it's just possible that there is less to this than meets the eye, and that the small (and very good) cast have wasted 90 minutes of their and my time on a beautifully photographed but utterly pointless piece of monochrome inconsequentiality.
  • This movie is about ninety minutes of purgatory, I think.

    Four men from the time period of Oliver Cromwell, I think, during a battle, I think, escape the perceived carnage by falling through a rural hedge. They form a four-man band and in a weary, bedraggled condition, trudge a field with ale on their mind. What follows then is plain and simple, puzzlement.

    After spending an hour figuring out what I had just viewed I've plumped for, what you reap in life is what you sow in the afterlife.

    I also watched the director's vague explanation of what the film is about and I am none the wiser. I think my assessment will at least give a future viewer something to mull over.

    4/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The most satisfying cinema respects the viewer's intelligence and invites them to play an active part in the meaning of the film. The greatest films reward repeated viewings and have universal truths contained within their themes and meaning(s). However, reading some of the reviews of "A Field in England" on IMDb many "reviewers" seem to need all films to adopt the clichéd narrative and formulaic approach of standard Hollywood moron fodder. As a result they have labelled this film as being "self-indulgent", "pretentious", "empty" etc. But perhaps it's the reviewers themselves who do not have an adequate cultural, historical or philosophical knowledge to appreciate the many layers contained in the film and perhaps they don't have the grasp of cinematic language and grammar to understand intelligent cinema? Essentially is it really fair to blame Ben Wheatley for the fact that you are a bit stupid? I didn't find the film pretentious at all. As for the "the meaning of the film", to me this was a metaphor for the failure of the modern day class struggle and the easy triumph of liberal capitalism over working class indifference. O'Neil's alchemy is the 17th century equivalent of the contemporary City/Financial sector – both built on nothing but smoke and mirrors. I think Civil War England was chosen because that was probably the last opportunity that the country had to build a fairer society and the period when the last major challenge to the political orthodoxy was mounted. But the radicals, such as the Diggers and the Levellers, were easily crushed and instead the "revolution" was one that saw the rise of the merchant upper middle class. The digging for treasures in the field demanded by O'Neil is the labour of the poor to make the rich even richer. Was the strange tug of war scene the collective failure of the ordinary men to overcome O'Neil or O'Neil being dragged from the bowels of the earth and carried across the field by the efforts of the men? Ultimately, despite the cries of "I'm my own man" that echo throughout the film, the men are seduced by hallucinogenic mushrooms and the promise of ale at the tavern. They are coerced by threats, violence and the horrors that occur to Whitehead in the tent to a state of total compliance and complicity in their own downfall.

    The cinematography by Laurie Rose inventively utilises the limited setting of the field itself to deliver a variety of moods ranging from an innocent golden beauty to mist laden magic hour shimmers through to claustrophobic dread. In a film of many moods, I am surprised that no one has remarked upon how funny Amy Jump's dialogue is at times, much of the humour being earthy enough to challenge any "pretentious" tag. Michael Smiley as O'Neil is a truly sinister screen presence; Reece Shearsmith shifting from obsequious slave to hollow triumphalist, is a chameleon like presence as the mysterious agent of the fable. Richard Ferdinando, unrecognisable from his brilliant performance in "Tony ", is excellent as the everyman character who serves as the eyes of the audience.

    Once again Wheatley utilises genre conventions in a fascinating way and delivers a whole that is much more complex and rewarding than the "Witchfinder General on magic mushrooms" reputation that lazy reviewers have applied to this film. What we have is a historical political metaphor that challenges the indifference and compliance of the contemporary working class wrapped up in a hybrid genre horror film that includes humour, magic, good and evil, mystery and some trademark moments of shuddering viscera.

    Wheatley is a film maker to watch - perhaps eventually becoming, in his own unique way, England's answer to the equally misunderstood Lars Von Trier? – and in the meantime this remains a rich, strange and evocative film that I will be returning to on many occasions in the future.
  • OK, it's been 9 hours since I watched this movie so it may be too soon to score as is usually the case with Wheatley's movies.

    This is a trip, and not a nice trip, Michael Smiley and Reece Shearsmith are exceptional in parts, the photography is simply stunning but the whole film was a let down for me. The critics will love it, but I feel this is the movie some directors make as if to say "I'm hot, I'll do what I like'.

    It's pretentious and very self indulgent, but i must say THAT TENT SCENE...WOW, the use of soundtrack (Blanck Mass, Chernobyl, Shearsmith's screams, the slow motion, 4 minutes of cinema which blew me away, unfortunately the other 80 odd minutes didn't
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This came with a fair bit of hype being directed by Ben Wheatley who made KILL LIST that gained a cult following and due to being released on multiple platforms ie released at selected cinemas , Blue-ray , DVD and broadcast on Film4 all on the same day . With hindsight the people who didn't pay to watch this film are luckier than the ones who did and anyone who hasn't seen this pretentious pile of horse manure is luckier than anyone who has

    Critics who saw preview copies of FIELD were very vague about the plot . That is because the film has no plot . Some deserters from the English Civil War team up , walk through some fields , take magic mushrooms and shoot each other . Anyone expecting something along the lines of WITCHFINDER GENERAL will be disappointed because this is like a bad episode of Monty Python without the surreal jokes crossed with Tarkovsky

    It's a case of style over substance , not so much substance abuse but plenty of style abuse . Wheatley realises there's no story to the screenplay so wastes his celluloid and the audiences time by showing off every directorial technique he learned at film school . If he's trying to emulate the brooding atmosphere of Nicolas Winding Refn's VALHALLA RISING then he's failed because this is Valhalla sinking . Sinking in to a big cesspit filled with pretentious poo

    The critics who did see it before the general public did lavish praise upon it and is a classic example that the emperor is naked . It is a film of incomprehensible storytelling that has no plot and makes very little sense . If it was made by a bunch of film students it wouldn't receive a distributor and the only reason it received any type of publicity is because it was directed by the fashionable and overrated Ben Wheatley and the multi platform release . I bet those people who spent money on the DVD are feeling embarrassed about it now
  • An undoubtedly interesting idea- civil war soldiers fleeing a battle encounter madness and witchcraft- directed by Britain's most "thrilling" young director should be a recipe for cinematic gold. The critics found it pretentious enough to unanimously praise, but I -and to judge from the commenters here- many others find it less than satisfactory.

    For a start the writing, pacing and direction is far from "Thrilling". The dreary and undramatic opening scene sets the tone badly. We do not see what battle these men are supposedly fleeing and they may as well have been out for a country walk. There is no sense of danger or fear of being discovered and executed for desertion, they merely meet and decide to go to a pub.

    What little energy there is in this opening is by having a character f-ing and blinding in a very modern way. This lack of authenticity hangs over the film, the exception being Reece Shearsmith who tries to impart a genuine 17th century earnestness into his part but does not have sufficient screen presence to carry the film.

    From the start, the film moves slowly. There is a longwinded description by Shearsmith of his occupation then a rather pointless scene of one of the men emptying his bowels in a field. Nice!

    The 'action' begins some 20 minutes in with an opaque and confusingly shot scene of them trying to hand plough a field. Have they never heard of horses?

    Being in black and white doesn't help the clarity. I normally love b&w films but I could not see the reason for its use here, except to appear more profound than it actually is. The cinematography is flat and manages to make the English countryside look ordinary rather than beautiful or mysterious.
  • Many people may highly disagree with this sentiment, but I believe 'A Field in England' to be a masterpiece. It is a mind-blowing wartime odyssey that pushes the boundaries of narrative cinema, filled with shocks and surprises at nearly every turn. Experimenting with editing and filmmaking techniques to the point of psychedelic madness, Ben Wheatley crafts one of the most successfully surreal works of cinema I have thus far seen. Everything from the often hilarious writing to the hypnotic score is finely injected with intense talent and, in my opinion, enormous entertainment value. The amount of thrills and laughs in this movie totally subverts the idea that art house cinema is often "boring." This film is so alive and free and refuses to surrender to most cinematic norms, and yet it still follows a coherent narrative with memorable and enjoyable characters and genuine suspense; it nearly reaches the heights of a David Lynch masterpiece in terms of its ability to mix radical experimentation and surrealism with an engaging and cohesive story. Since Lynch is by far my favourite filmmaker, that is high praise. Anyone who is willing to be confused, appalled, and oddly amused owes it to his or herself to see this insane work of cinematic psychedelia.
  • mic-w27 August 2013
    i saw this film on a really big screen at berlin's fantasy film festival last night - and it blew me away.

    outstanding photography. excellent editing. brilliant sound design. great acting. beautiful landscapes. darkest witchcraft. and a wonderful sense of humour.

    many here seem to think this film is just pretentious. others praise it for being extremely innovative. to me, it seemed neither. it certainly is unconventional in many ways, especially in terms of story-telling. but at the same time it seemed to have a distinctly 20th-century, more specifically 1960s/70s kind of vibe to it. a great reminder of what magic the cinema is capable of when it relies on its inherent, traditional strenghts and techniques rather than trying to enhance them with all kinds of digital trickery.

    i must confess i had never heard of ben wheatley before. but this film to me seems to place him in the tradition of great film artits like kubrick or greenaway.

    so if you get a chance to see this on a big screen, and are patient and open-minded enough to enjoy a poetic, trippy, funny black-and-white movie: don't miss it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After three remarkable contemporary black comedies Ben Wheatley has now all but reinvented the British historical picture with "A Field in England". Set during the English Civil War and filmed in black and white this is as far removed from the likes of "Cromwell" or such stately Oscar-grabbers as "A Man for all Seasons" or "Anne of the 1000 Days" as it's possible to get. But then nothing Wheatley has done to date has been conventional.

    In "Down Terrace" an average British family of petty criminals set about slaughtering each other. In "Kill List", two hit-men find themselves in 'Wicker Man' territory while in "Sightseers" a Mike Leighish couple on a camping holiday turn into Bonnie and Clyde. Consequently, "A Field in England" turns out to be, not so much a film about the Civil War at all, but another variation on Wheately's theme of subverting genre norms.

    The deserters who find themselves traversing not one but many fields in England are even from the same side but are simply thrown together after a battle while what happens to them bears no resemblance to what happens to 'soldiers', (I use the term loosely), in other pictures. This is quirky, original and quite unlike anything else. It certainly won't be to everyone's taste, particularly if you like your narratives straightforward but it confirms Wheatley as one of the most innovative directors working in cinema today.
  • Even if it only costs me the time I sometimes wonder why I still bother? I'll try and be charitable and put that this 90 minute film will entertain students the undisciplined and the pretentious, and I might have enjoyed it as well at 15. But as you get older it should get easier to gauge this kind of arty nonsense as something to avoid to save your own precious time. Over the decades I've sat through all kinds of good stuff and all kinds of trippy tripe from Bunuel to Vigo and Pasolini to Goddard but still get caught out in seeking genuine Art. I first learnt to be more careful after UK ITV hyped up their premier broadcast of Peter Hall's Akenfield on 26th January 1975 – what a good looking colossal waste of space that was! As profoundly empty as this is.

    Some of God's Englishmen, five earthy soldiers in the English Civil War have some kind of mind experience in a couple of fields full of mushrooms in avoiding the heat of battle. The sharp black & white photography and imagery is excellent and sometimes marvellously bizarre, but the story is obviously secondary and appears to be an afterthought. At least the sets were cheap…what sets? At turns it's boring, violent, rambling, seedy and pointless, which if you add intensely incoherent makes it a perfect bad trip. And it definitely wouldn't have helped me to see as well as hear the process of the noisy defecation or for the camera to have gone right up the bloke's poxy penis, however 'tis a pity the black planet didn't swallow them all up. Probably Bunuel would still have enjoyed it though!

    Most of us don't understand the minds of psychopaths; I wouldn't knowingly cross the road to get to know one better, and so with films. I seek no answers because I expect no answers, only some amount of entertainment. I read so many times from "open-minded" highbrows expressing their lofty criticisms of feeble-minded middle/lowbrows, whilst in various ways they explain they're not sure of and/or hope there is a meaning behind the art film they're commenting on - what can I say in the face of such misplaced optimism?! Only: Time Will Tell. I personally think the true meaning can be found with the in-your-face noisy defecation, the director probably only regretting he couldn't physically rub the audience's nose in the excrement being forced out.

    No wonder UK Film 4 is non-subscription nowadays if this is an example of how clever they are in chasing an audience. If you're pushing 40 you probably should avoid this drivel (life's short), but if you're young and with moderate sense but without hang ups you could watch it just to give yourself a very base point for all the excellent and even arty films you will see in the future.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Totally agree with the reviewer. I was looking forward to this, especially as it is set in the 1640's/Civil War period. The 10 line minimum for reviews is making me struggle, so I'll try and battle on.. It's not that it's hard to understand, what with the magic mushrooms concept.

    The story was right for the stage, where the arty brigade could justify it with some intellectual nonsense. I can just see them sloping off home to a bottle of claret and pseudo conversation. When it's seen as it is - self-indulgent, they may come to their senses.

    It must have cost about a fiver to make. I stuck with it manfully for 50 minutes before hitting the off button. Boring crap!
  • well this is the third time i have tried to watch this film and this time i forced myself ,literally forced myself to watch it till the end. so here is my take on this film. a group of soldiers from a British civil war all with cowardly characters and an intuitive bravery for greed (a treasure is deeply implied) in a field in England. well that's it really , add a few toilet and sexual references and bad acting then that is all there is ,did i forget to mention mushrooms and a totally unbelievable reece shearsmith (league of gentleman fame) wasted on this dross.not a film i would recommend to the sane and serious film viewers ,but someone did get stung by nettles hence i gave it a very generous 4
  • Yes, A FIELD IN ENGLAND truly is that bad. It's a massive disappointment and pity, because Ben Wheatley's previous films as director (DOWN TERRACE and KILL LIST) have showed real promise, hinting at greatness to come. But this is a step back. It's not that the direction is particularly poor, it's just that Wheatley's script with Amy Jump is so drivelling and has absolutely nothing to say.

    That's what this film offers - nothing. Characters are barely realised and interchangeable, humour is forced and unfunny, and the scenario doesn't ring true. I like English Civil War-era history, but this isn't that; it could be set in any period, it's just an excuse for dressing up. I get the impression that Wheatley watched VALHALLA RISING and thought 'Ah! I want to make a film like that!' with this as the ungodly result.

    The problem is that VALHALLA RISING was a great little movie, with a strong narrative to sustain the artier scenes, and it also had something to say. A FIELD IN ENGLAND has nothing to say - we've learnt absolutely nothing about anything by the time it finishes. I think the most off-putting part of it was, to me, the various interludes where the characters pause, their hair blowing in the wind, mid action. It's like some game of 'What's the time, Mr Wolf?' gone horrifically wrong.

    I looked for meaning here; I looked for insight. I wanted it, I wanted to be proved wrong after my initial gut feeling. But the truth is it isn't there. A FIELD IN ENGLAND is just an obscure mess that wastes the talents of everybody involved. If you want to include arty, abstract stuff in a film, then build it into a straightforward narrative that will give viewers something to hook onto. Forget that, and forget your film being watchable in any respect.
  • Okay so I went to the premier of this at my local PictureHouse on the 5th with my partner and as soon as it finished we headed home for a second dose on Film 4. This is not usual behaviour for us and demonstrates just how intriguing a piece of art A Field in England is. I have seen some reviews on here that truly lambast this work and I can honestly say that I am totally bewildered by this. Thus here I am writing my first review on IMDb in defence of this truly original and exciting slice of British film. I could waffle on now with lengthy comparisons to other films, directors, styles etc. I could dish out my personal opinion on all the tropes, themes and messages held within this masterpiece. Not my thing! I have only this to say if you are wavering whilst trawling through the reviews on here to see whether this is worth 190 minutes of your time then DO NOT HESITATE! Go on treat yourself and "Open up and let the devil in..you know you want to."
  • As I already feel cheated of the hour and a half I've wasted watching this, I will waste no further time on it other than to say if I could have worked out how to give it 0/10 I would have. Quite angry about the Film four hype for such pretentious drivel. The Ben Wheatley interview afterwards was equally annoying, adding insult to injury, and was promptly abandoned. The worst kind of student film, what a waste of finance for British film making. Rubbish...........rubbish...........rubbish...........rubbish...... .......filling the required ten lines now......total rubbish..........film four shame on you........etc.......etc......etc....
  • Name of Director: WHEATley, real name of central actor: SHEARSmith, real name of actor playing evil character: SMILEY. Geddit!!! Oh so droll, this film is so up its own backside you really do have to wonder how this self-indulgent 'trip' got so much publicity. After all, it only took 12 days to produce and pence to fund. Shearsmith is such an expert at playing grotesque and left-field characters though that it is through him that you begin to understand what is going on here. In fact, his performance is a dream. (Geddit - oh, do keep up folks). This is in fact a clever bit of filmography and I was tempted to make a Peter Greenaway comparison - except, that's wrong too. This is definitely not for everyone but that's not to say its without merit. A strange merit is has indeed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A Field In England is various things. A meditation on the nature of a country turning against itself, an exploration of power structures, a buddy movie, a mad acid trip out, and a good old fashioned western. All in 90 minutes. I think a lot of people have been turned off by the fact it's in black and white, and the narrative is unclear. Basically, if you can't cope with the lack of colour and having to piece the evidence together yourself, then you're better off watching something a bit more straight forward. The sequence with Reece Shearsmith leading Michael Smiley around by a rope to the soundtrack of "Pop Goes The Weasel" made me laugh harder than any comedy I've seen this year. Very good, don't believe the shallow rants of those who slate it just because it doesn't hold your hand and explain everything to you. Very good indeed.
  • Mr Wheatley's work seems to embody the concept of the Emperor's New Clothes. Each new offering seems to cause a ripple of delight amongst critics, yet the experience of actually watching his films is reliably disappointing. Admittedly, "Sightseers" had a certain darkly comic appeal, but "Kill List" was dreadful and this latest offering manages to be less interesting still. Historically implausible accents and dialogue aside, we are expected to swallow a series of random plot elements (presumably on the excuse that things need not make sense on mushrooms). Sorry, but that isn't good enough. Narrative may not be fashionable, but it does at least serve the purpose of keeping the audience interested. It is, however, very difficult to maintain any interest beyond about 40 minutes at which point it becomes clear the film is based on the law of diminishing returns. Back and white cinematography? Why is that, I wonder? Could it be to make things more realistic because they hadn't invented colour film in the 17th century? Please!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was really looking forward to seeing this and nearly preordered the Blu Ray having read about it. The plot sounded very interesting, a group of soldiers in a field come across the devil, wow I thought, this sounds like some forgotten Tigon classic! Then I saw it was being broadcast on TV simultaneously with it's DVD/Blu Ray and cinema release, so held back, and I am so glad I did. What you have here is something that resembles a college project with no plot line, 'arty' black and white cinematography, it's basically a complete mess. I'm pretty sure the director and film company are regretting they let people see this before they had ordered the physical product, because I bet it has really affected sales,and I don't think it will do the directors future career any favours either.Easily one of the worst films I have ever seen in my 50 years on this planet.
  • A Field in England

    I have never reviewed a film before this short offering, but following, to the bitter end this film, I was moved to write a very brief review.

    A sad gratuitous romp in monochrome through a few fields portraying men as reprehensible animals discussing disjointed themes under the guise of English Civil war survivors.

    If the aim of this film was engender depression and a deep sense of sadness, then this film was probably successful

    In essence, life is simply far too short to waste time by watching this film
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