Raindance Film Festival: Keeping Rosy

Charlotte and Blake leaning against the window - reflection.psd
Directed by Steve Reeves

Starring Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison and Christine Bottomley

by Joanna Orland

Maxine Peake gives an intense performance in gripping thriller Keeping Rosy. Peake plays Charlotte, a woman who has devoted her life to her career. Foregoing having children and a healthy relationship with a partner, Charlotte has found a penchant for the finer things in life such as a lovely modern penthouse apartment, a hefty black SUV, and a refrigerator stocked with expensive champagne.

After she is overlooked as a partner in the firm to which she has devoted the best years of her life, Charlotte storms out and bursts into her apartment to find her cleaner Mykala smoking a cigarette against Charlotte’s clear instructions. The women bicker and Mykala storms out after Charlotte fires her. Aware that she has just taken out her pent up rage onto Mykala, Charlotte follows her out into the hallway to apologize and offer her back her job. Charlotte spots an expensive bottle of champagne in Mykala’s bag and another fight ensues, leading to dire consequences.

What is truly frightening about this film is the naturalistic way the story unfolds. The audience completely empathizes with Charlotte who is clearly a villain, but becomes a protagonist through the director’s portrayal and Peake’s performance. While Charlotte is the type of character who would not normally commit such horrid crimes, the way this story is told, it is fully believable and almost expected that Charlotte could lose her way in a most terrible and irredeemable way. With a morbid fascination, I could not look away.

Peake’s silent portrayal of Charlotte speaks louder than any of the dialogue centric scenes in this film. The intense expression on her face is mesmerizing and telling of what this character is feeling at any given moment. There is much more to this story than merely a crime, but I feel it’s best the audience watch the story unfold themselves rather than know in advance what is in store for Charlotte. The evolution of the character is a beauty to watch with Peake at the helm.

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