Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Hide (2008)

Movie quotes:
"I’m not caged. I’m not a hemmed-in man."
- Roy

At a glance:
Director Marek Losey’s freshman film is a tense character study of two men from opposite ends of the class spectrum who form a strange relationship during the short time they spend together in a claustrophobic bird-watching hide

Our review (with spoilers):
There’s the consummate clash of cultures in The Hide, a movie that takes place completely inside a bird-watching hide on mud flats somewhere in England. Stuck-up, better-than-thou ornithologist Roy Tunt (Alex Macqueen) has his quest to tick off every known species of bird interrupted by David (Phil Campbell), a rough, lower class mystery man with an obviously troubled soul (even if we weren’t privy to his bizarre flashbacks). At first, Roy seems arrogant yet innocent, and David, gulping from a bottle of vodka and scratching his head with passion, looks like he is about to explode in anger and violence. Despite their cultural differences, they find a way to communicate and to enjoy – and need – each other’s company – although why they need each other is not immediately clear.

(Note: Do NOT read any further if you have not yet seen this film). Director Marek Losey plays with stereotypes to lead us in a certain direction, then abruptly pulls the rug out from under us. One man is obviously troubled but harmless to others. Another is hiding his sins, and, by design, is extremely dangerous.

The Hide is a bean counter’s dream. There are only two actors, and virtually the entire film takes place inside a small bird blind (hide). Losey proves that you do not need expensive sets, fireballs, or big name actors to create a mini-masterpiece.

Rating:  3 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"One claustrophobic location, two men, a relationship that shifts with the flood tide... and a film that far exceeds the limitations imposed by its low budget and small scale."
- Anton Bitel (Eye for Film)

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