Heartless

"OK"

Heartless Review


Layered and dense, there's clearly a lot going on in this dark thriller, although it's not easy to figure out what that might be. It's hypnotically perplexing, like a David Lynch movie without the emotional resonance.

Jamie (Sturgess) is a shy photographer who avoids contact with people because of the large birthmark on his face. Working with his brother (Salinger) and nephew (Treadaway), he longs for a normal life. Then a series of events propels him into a nightmarish new reality in which a demon-like man (Mawle), his young assistant (Mistry) and their intense weapons expert (Marsan) offer him freedom from his scars in exchange for an act of chaos. He also falls in love with a girl (Poesy) who seems too good to be true.

From the very start, the film's fairytale vibe has strong echoes of both Beauty and the Beast and Phantom of the Opera. Ridley gives this film a dense, moody texture that keeps us interested, even as we begin to wonder what's actually happening. There are lots of hints along the way that would most likely become clearer with subsequent viewings, and it's obvious that some of what happens is inside Jamie's mind. But not all of it.

And while the film touches on serious themes about physical appearance and the fragility of human life, the story is just too heavy-handed. Death is over-present in Jamie's life; his father (Spall in flashbacks) died when he was a boy, and there's much worse to come. There are moments of real resonance along the way, but the film loses us by lurching from dark melodrama to light romance to brutal horror and back. Again and again.

That said, Sturgess delivers a remarkably steady performance, creating a character we do care about, even though we're never quite sure what's real and what's in his mind. The whole cast is effective, while Marsan gives the standout performance, a kinetic turn that fuels the film's only truly scary scene. Everything else feels a little indulgent and repetitive, with jolts coming mainly through film tricks, red herrings or extreme gore. It's the kind of film that generates a dedicated cult audience, but I'd rather not watch it again.



Heartless

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th November 2010

Box Office USA: $2.0k

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: May 13 Films, CrossDay Productions, Isle of Man Film, CinemaNX, Matador Pictures, Cinema Two

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Richard Raymond

Starring: as Jamie Morgan, as A.J., as Weapons Man, as Lee Morgan, as George Morgan, as Papa B, Imogen Church as Sarah, as Marion Morgan, Bhasker Patel as Mr. Mohan, Justin Salinger as Raymond Morgan, Fraser Ayres as Vinnie, Nicholas Tennant as The Inspecter, as Jeeko, as Tia

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.