Edge (12)

The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byIsabel Stevens13/04/2012

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Six lonely lives converge on one sleepy seaside hotel on a winter's day. Suicide and depression is the common denominator they share between them - which makes for a fair deal of drama as they spend a night perched high on a deserted cliff edge.

What’s it all about?
A musician with whose career high was one measly top 100 hit. A grouchy, terminally ill woman determined to die; a lonely Polish hotel maid ridden with guilt after having an abortion; an amnesiac woman obsessed with the suicide of an old friend, which she believes she was responsible for; a boy still trying to come to terms with the suicide of his father; a girl trying to track down the rapist who attacked her and her mistaken victim. This is the motley, damaged crew that Carol Morley – no stranger to broken lives after last year's 'Dreams of a Life' – has assembled. Personal histories, grievances and regrets are all aired over the course of a night as these lonely lives intermingle and unlikely friendships and romances are forged.

The Good
While the characters often feel too sculpted by a drama-filled plot to feel that real, what lends the film its sombre atmosphere and poignancy is its setting. The famed suicide spot and holiday hang-out that is Beachy Head is here transformed by winter into an isolated and lonely expanse. Snowy cliff-tops and the icy sea below give far more insight into the fragile and numb inner lives of these characters than the script allows (often the past is too readily excavated in the conversations between the characters). The film is most heartfelt when it veers off its heavily-plotted course to linger on narrative fragments, such as when Morley's camera roams through the hotel walls to give a fleeting glimpse into the other lonely lives gathered there.

The Bad
At times Edge feels overly schematic as the characters lives overlap and intermingle too easily, and the film strains just a bit too hard to be touching. Awkward moments in particular feel too crafted to be uncomfortable. Most of the performances are largely solid but it doesn't help that the script rarely gives the actors much more than text-book depression scenarios to act out.

Worth seeing?
Thankfully Morley avoids neat resolution when the time comes the morning after for her characters to part ways, but overall Edge lacks the chilling impact of Dreams of a Life and its insight into depression.

Film Trailer

Edge (12)
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Content updated: 12/05/2012 10:27

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