" a thoughtful character-driven piece that suggests a bright future for all involved"
Hinterland is the directorial debut feature from British actor Harry MacQueen (Me and Orson Welles) who also writes, produces and stars in this tale of a rekindled childhood friendship. He plays Harvey, a man who reunites with his childhood friend Lola (Lori Campbell) for a weekend away in a windswept Cornwall where they grew up.
Shot on the proverbial shoestring, MacQueen and Campbell are the only two speaking parts and their likeable, natural performances carry the film’s emotional heart. Set in an all too familiar Britain where the cities are plagued with discussions of money and debt and the weather is often foul, Harvey and Lola reminisce about how life doesn’t turn out the way one expects: Harvey still hasn’t finished his novel and Lola is angry about her father’s infidelity; neither of them have found a place or person to settle down with as the story gradually evolves into a coming of (middle) age tale.
Any potential romance between the pair is superbly handled. While the two seem firmly encamped in the ‘friend zone’, Harvey’s occasional glance and muted reaction to Lola’s rant about the rules of relationships in society suggest that maybe he wants something more. Whether Lori feels the same way is another matter and the fact that the film never explores this beyond mere suggestion makes it all the more thoughtful.
Admittedly, the production is a little rough around the edges but such is the difficulty of getting a film funded in Britain (let alone one that gets a cinema release on a reported budget of £8,000), one may be inclined to understand and forgive such quibbles.
It may be somewhat slight (to a degree, at least) and the lack of action or plot development will undoubtedly frustrate some, but Hinterland is a thoughtful character-driven piece that suggests a bright future for all involved.