Set in North London, 'Still' is a gritty and atmospheric thriller about the violent disintegration of a man and father. Tom Carver (Aidan Gillen) is a man stumbling blindly towards a ...
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Set in North London, 'Still' is a gritty and atmospheric thriller about the violent disintegration of a man and father. Tom Carver (Aidan Gillen) is a man stumbling blindly towards a crossroad in his life, thrown out of focus by the death of his teenage son a year earlier. He becomes involved in a feud with a teenage gang after a seemingly harmless collision with a young kid. As the feud becomes more horrifying, Carver's world starts to unravel forcing him to make decisions that will change his life forever. Written by
Still wants to be a dark and painful drama at it's core, of which there is no shortage in contemporary cinema. It tells the story of a father broken in spirit after the accidental death of his only son, who we only know through memory and photographs throughout the film. They seemed very close, his previous marriage has ended by the time we are introduced to him, and he turns to drink and drugs to dull the emotional pain.
There is no shortage of that angle in recent cinema but the truth is many films have done it much better than this. There is a real depth of character that Aidan Gillen brings to the screen. He's a talented actor, and of course deserving to be the center of this film, but I don't think anyone could save this movie from it's lack of real storytelling. It's a very serious topic, however the direction is very A to B to C and misses some of the most important subjects it brings to the screen. This includes gang violence in North London of which, these children portraying a violent gang seem nothing more than... well children. However, any sense of danger is missing from every scene they are in. The mother, portrayed by Amanda Mealing, tries to maintain a somewhat cordial relationship with her ex-husband, but her grief and struggle are so incidental that she may as well not have been in the film at all.
The worst crime in this film however was the lack of any real depth in what should have focused on the most heinous act in the entire movie. In it, a sexual assault occurs of such violation, that it simply dwarfs anything else that happens throughout the film. An event that drives the father to the breaking point, was used as a simple plot device designed to change directions of the main character, but should have been the main focal point of the film. The director decided to go another direction and make that terrible crime so superfluous, that it barely has any screen time at all and the viewer is not invited to see what happened to the victim by the end of the film.
An unforgivable act, but more so, unforgivable direction. You may think the plot was dark and gritty, but I think it barely touched on these themes.
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