Harry Wootliff is the film-maker who in 2018 gave us the splendidly tender and well-observed grownup love story Only You with Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa. Now she is again with one other complicated relationship, a humidly intense story of amour fou, submission and emotional self-harm, tailored from Deborah Kay Davies’s novel True Things About Me. It is a well-acted film with achieved set-piece scenes of eroticism and residual, unfulfilled craving. However generally it feels just like the ambient ambiance and performances are going nowhere. The characterisation isn’t as complicated or as looking because it was in Solely You, and in its third act the plot indicators off with a lame and implausible decision.
The scene is a advantages workplace in a seaside city, the place Kate (Ruth Wilson) has the boring process of interviewing all of the variously upset and abusive claimants. Her mate Alison (Hayley Squires) has caught her neck out to get her this job, and is already barely anxious and exasperated by Kate’s persistent lateness and not-very-well-concealed sarky angle.
Kate’s life modifications when a moody, insolent and really horny younger man with dyed blond hair swaggers in for an appointment, insouciantly revealing that he has simply completed 4 months’ jail time for one thing or different; he’s performed with apparent relish by Tom Burke. He quietly asks if he can take Kate out for lunch; Wilson conveys Kate’s frisson of pleasure as she agrees and sneaks out to fulfill him in opposition to workplace guidelines. As a substitute of lunch, they’ve tough intercourse simply by his Mercedes within the multi-storey automobile park (how does he afford a Mercedes?), and later he persuades her to bunk off work to come back with him for a swim and extra scrumptious al-fresco lovemaking. Quickly she is, within the phrases of the music, mad concerning the boy.
However with a horrible inevitability, this man begins treating her casually, not calling her for ages after which demanding she drop all the things at a second’s discover; she tells him all the things about her however is aware of nothing about him. Kate turns into clingingly and pathetically obsessed, stalking his deal with on Google Avenue View. Then he airily broadcasts that this Mercedes of his is mysteriously out of motion and calls for to borrow her automobile for a “enterprise enterprise” and disappears for ages with out giving it again. Might this man merely be utilizing her? Might this be a part of a repeated sample of predatory abuse? Perhaps Kate doesn’t care, as a result of this poisonous and harmful relationship is extra passionate and actual than anything in her life.
The crunch comes when the gorgeously merciless lover has considered one of his swings in direction of affection and invitations Kate to Spain the place his sister is supposedly getting married – though he isn’t travelling along with her, having merely promised to fulfill her on the airport when she arrives. And it’s at this level that the viewers is entitled to surprise when we’re going to meet this sister, or a minimum of when Kate goes to demand to be launched to members of his household, and if and when the thriller of his background goes to be illuminated.
Properly, the Spanish part of the movie doesn’t persuade, both in what is meant to be taking place or in the way it allegedly brings a few change in Kate. But Wilson and Burke give formidably good performances: a girl who desperately needs to present and obtain love, and a person who hasn’t the smallest concept what any of meaning.