2007 Running time: 84 Certificate: 15 Rating: 2

Synopsis

A woman washes up on a desolate beach with no memory of how she got there. While evading a hostile stranger who was also swept ashore, she gradually pieces together her part in a sinister plot involving stolen identities, obsession and espionage. The Descent duo Alex Reid and Shauna MacDonald are reunited in similarly murky circumstances for a lean British psychodrama that recalls Batman director Christopher Nolan's early flashback frenzies Following and Memento.

Director

  • Simon Welsford

Cast

  • Alex Reid

  • Shauna MacDonald

  • Jamie Draven

  • Cal MacAninch

Review

You don't need echo location to sense that writer-director Simon Welsford has spent more than a few dark nights studying the pre-Gotham moves of Christopher Nolan.

But, like his ambitious debut feature, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

His first nod is to The Bourne Identity, with a bedraggled, dazed and confused Alex Reid being pursued by a fellow semi-drowned rat (Jamie Draven) along the shore of an anonymous shipping lane (Margate, actually).

The here-and-now duly established, Welsford plunges into Memento territory via German Oscar-winner The Lives Of Others; a shady, flashback-driven world of software engineers, corporate spies and identity thieves.

What emerges is a study of obsession and the perils of working too hard - but to elaborate further would be to give the game away. Needless to say, the plot revolves around who Reid is and what she's done.

Shooting on a shoestring in only 14 days, Welsford certainly has a few tricks up his sleeve. Sadly, he doesn't yet have the sleight-of-hand to pull them all off.

Crucially, he fudges his early key twist, assuming that everyone will follow his psychological and temporal chicanery when in fact confusion reigns until it clicks that one character is essentially playing another.

The cast treat it with all due seriousness but credibility would have been greater had more time been spent developing their characters and motivations than on having them tailing, running and hiding from one another.

Jetsam makes an interesting proposition but neither the execution or resolution exert any real grip.