East End Film Festival: Waking David

East End Film Festival - Waking David
Waking David
Directed by Kevin Nash
Starring Kristy Bruce, Shane Bruce and Harriet Madeley
Screening at East End Film Festival June 18th, 2017

by Bernie C Byrnes

A young American woman arrives in England seeking to reconnect with her father’s family, only to find them peculiarly reticent about her arrival. Delving deeper, she slowly uncovers a web of trauma, deceit and repressed memory attached to her father’s legacy.

Hmmm, not everyone can do improve. Sadly some of those actors are in this film, along with dozens of near-miss mistakes from shaky establishing shots; to drinking from obviously empty cups; to wearing clothes the same colour as the actor’s skin. Awkward pauses while the camera looks at a chopped carrot or oscillates between two faces, a performance obscured by the back of another actor’s head, I’m afraid the list is pretty long of where this film makes rookie errors. It clearly wants to be improv in the vein of Mike Leigh, but in reality achieves the half-scripted clumsiness of Made in Chelsea. The self-consciousness of the cast is unsurprising given the heavy-handed plotting and amount of time spent pretending to be drunk. Psychological thriller this ain’t. Spending 60 minutes flirting with a secret that, when revealed, is implausible at best makes this film fall very short of its mark.

Harriet Madeley (Jump (2015), The Rizen 2 (2017) and Our Girl (2013)) turns in one of the stronger performances as the American Life Coach, Scarlett, who is searching for information about her dead father.

Waking David is Nash’s debut and it shows. This film shows some promise, but he still has a way to go yet.


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