December 11, 2017

Hinterland – a love letter to friendship

A love-letter to friendship

Hinterland will make you ponder how you would spend a £10,000 inheritance. Not because that’s anything to do with the plot but rather it’s how director and star Harry Macqueen has funded his debut feature film. An 80 minute road movie, it stars himself, singer Lori Campbell and a Volvo estate called Leeroy.

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The story is slight. Lola and Harvey leave London to spend a few days by the sea in Cornwall. Their relationship is unclear. They share childhood memories but haven’t seen each other for ages. Something has happened in Lola’s life and Harvey is trying to take her mind off it.

The film has a simple structure. The two characters drive somewhere where they can wander around for a bit or sit looking at a view. Throughout they chat. Reminiscences feature heavily, as does the inane chitchat of old friends. But there is also musing on life and relationships. Lola holds out little hope for the whole romantic system we’ve developed in the West. There might be someone better suited to you in the next room let alone the world, she ponders.

Lola and Harvey have a close, non-sexual relationship, chastely sharing beds and baths. They have spend years apart and are rebuilding a childhood friendship – but as they chat of their search for partners the viewer is tempted to scream at them both to stop looking.

Technically, the film is overly shot with shallow focus lenses. It adds an attractive bokeh blurring of the background, but the technique is used too much.There are wider shots that show the English seaside but too many scenes have only a face in focus and leave us unable to see much more.

Hinterland’s plot may sound inconsequential but the two leads portray a caring, positive relationship and create a convincing debut feature that shows promise. A successful use of an inheritance.

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