Dir.: Martin Radich
Cast: Denis Menochet, Bary Keoghan, Goada Letkauskaite, Eileen Davis, Sean Buckley
UK 2015, 83 min. Thriller
In the bucolic stillness of the Norfolk countryside, director Martin Radich (Crack Willow) shows a post-apocalyptic set up, were rival military gangs fight for survival.
NORFOLK explores the ever popular father/son relationship, which is, like the whole film, very opaque, not to say enigmatic; the characters don’t even have names. The father (Denis Menochet) is menacing and most of the time armed, like all the warriors in their various camps. His son (Keoghan) is a dreamer who looks in bewilderment at the world. Father and son have an array of old TVs in their decrepit house, where different programmes from the time “before” are playing. But when the father gets a call from his leader: his task is to take out a rival group of ageing mercenaries without showing any mercy. This extermination project disrupts the father and son dynamic and when a random girl (Letkauskaite) enters the plot, the boy falls in love with her. The girl is subjected to violence by the soldiers and runs away. Somehow the trio comes together again, father and son shooting at the old TVs, which they have lined up in the garden.
The lack of narrative makes it often difficult to understand what is going on here, one has to literally fight for any information. Nevertheless, the haunting atmosphere is just enough to hold our interest and the impressive actors, who seemed to be in the dark, as much as we are, glide by, like ships in the night. DOP Tim Sidell’s images carry the film embuing it with a nightmarish, glowering Norfolk. Nature is not pleasant here, but threatening just like the humans, who stalk each other. Overall, a strong paranoia perverts all interaction, and death seems like a welcome solution for most concerned. Norfolk is not for everyone, but it has a gloomy attraction. AS
NOW ON RELEASE AT SELECTED CINEMAS | REVIEWED AT EAST END FILM FEST 2015