DIR: Mercedes Grower | UK | Comedy | 85′
Shot on a shoestring budget over several years, this unconventional tragi-comedy compendium explores modern love for Londoners through a series of nine amorous encounters. Depressingly realistic and cringeworthy rather than funny or affecting, BRAKES starts well but is unable to sustain our enthusiasm beyond the half-way mark due to a lack of laughs, questionable production values, tonal uneveness and the overly episodic nature of the narrative. Some of the vignettes are dismal and feel staged rather than authentic.
BRAKES is the directorial debut of English actress Mercedes Grower and is cast from a selection of Britain’s top comedy and dramatic acting talent who do their best in the circumstances: Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) alongside Paul McGann (Withnail & I), Julia Davis (Nighty Night), Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave), Steve Oram (Sightseers), Roland Gift (The Fine Young Cannibals), Peter Wight (Babel, Atonement), Kate Hardie (Mona Lisa), Seb Cardinal (Cardinal Burns) to name but a few.
The film received a Special Jury Mention for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2016 and has won audiences over at many festivals since, including LOCO London Comedy Film Festival and the inaugural ‘Cineramageddon’ event, curated by Julien Temple, at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. MT
BRAKES IS ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 24 NOVEMBER 2017