Published on August 30th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie2
Heartlands Film Review: A Triumph Of Simplicity Over Flash
Heartlands Film Review
Director: Damien O’Carroll.
Cast: Michael Sheen, Mark Addy and Celia Imrie.
Here is Yellow Magpie’s Heartlands film review.
Heartlands is a charming film about a man who sets out on a journey to win back his wife, but ends up finding himself instead.
The story centres around Colin who is played superbly by Michael Sheen. Colin is a gentle soul, too nice and kind for his own good. Colin is the owner of a small newsagents which is frequented by boys mitching from school and a smug, bullying policeman.
As the film progresses it emerges that Geoff, the policeman, is playing around with Colin’s wife, Sandra, eventually persuading her to run away with him to Blackpool.
‘Sheen never allows his character to fall into sickening sentimentality.’
Heartbroken, Colin decides to go after them on his moped. Along the way he encounters different people and gains a new perspective on himself and the world.
Sheen is wonderful in the role, capturing Colin’s personality to perfection. His love for his undeserving wife is heartbreaking, while his good nature shines throughout the entire film. To his credit, Sheen never allows his character to fall into sickening sentimentality. Colin is accustomed to being treated indifferently and doesn’t expect anything better. In this regard Sheen gets it just right. Sheen gives a flawless performance.
‘You want to see him fall flat on his face and get his comeuppance.’
Jim Carter also puts in a fine turn as Geoff. Obnoxious, vain, and self-centred, running away with Colin’s wife doesn’t cost him a second thought. He sees people like Colin as being weak and there for him to take advantage. Carter is very convincing in the role, you want to see him fall flat on his face and get his comeuppance.
Colin’s somewhat vacant wife Sandra, played by Jane Roberts, is glamorous in a sad and tacky way. Sandra doesn’t appreciates Colin nor his efforts on her behalf. She believes far away hills are greener and much more exotic than her current situation. Jane Roberts plays the part of Sandra in an understated manner and is quite effective as the selfish and quite spoiled Sandra.
‘Of course every film has its flaws and one scene in particular just doesn’t ring true.’
On his journey to Blackpool Collin meets a number of colourful characters. First is a group of bikers with one easy-going couple taking him under their wing. Then there is the pub-owner, an aging swinger, who is having an affair with the barmaid, whose daughter can’t stand the sight of him.
Through his encounters with these characters, Colin begins to believe there is more to life and consequently learns in a small way to expect better.
Of course every film has its flaws and one scene in particular just doesn’t ring true. Colin’s discovery that a group of girl scouts have decorated his moped with autumn leaves is ridiculous. It borders on fantasy and is at odds with the tone of the rest of the film.
‘The setting of the final scenes in what has now become a cheap, plastic and tired resort lends kudos to the film’s final act.’
Finally, Colin reaches his destination, Blackpool. Setting the final scenes in the rather tired, tawdry and run-down seaside resort is inspired. The resort is everything Colin is not, cheap, nasty and ugly. It is a true reflection of the personalities of both Sandra and Geoff, two jaded has-beens who have traded innocence for garish and empty illusion.
The setting of the final scenes in what has now become a cheap, plastic and tired resort lends kudos to the film’s final act.
Heartlands is a spectacularly understated film that is unusual. It never tries to force itself on the viewer and slowly unwinds and tells its tale in a most beautiful and delightful manner. A must see.
Highly Recommended Get The Film Through Amazon
You can obtain Heartlands here from Amazon.
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom you can access Heartlands here.
For those living in Canada you can obtain Heartlands from here.
For Germany: Heartlands.
For France: Heartlands.