Keeping Rosy (2014, dir. Steve Reeves)

Keeping-Rosy

Charlotte (Maxine Peake) is having a bad day. Not only has she been passed over for partner in her job but then she returns home to find her cleaner smoking and potentially stealing from her; an altercation ensues and triggers a catastrophic turn of events which has things going from bad to so much worse and in real time too.

British thriller, Keeping Rosy is a highly televisual affair and would work well as an ITV drama due to its episodic editing, this is not necessarily a bad thing; it just lacks a certain filmic quality. Peake is a fantastic actress and her performance really gives pause for thought, her Charlotte begins the film as a brittle, uptight career woman with a pinched face who physically flinches at the prospect of holding a colleague’s new baby. Yes! That gendered caricature; however, she makes the very best of the material at her disposal and is extremely engaging, even making the character more likeable as desperation takes hold. That said, as her controlling workaholic unravels it does make it impossible not to notice plot-holes and makes it increasingly difficult to reconcile character motivations. Throw in an annoying younger sister Sarah (Christine Bottomley) and a quite inexplicable performance by Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) as security guard, Roger and it is easy for interest to be all but diminished by the third act.

Keeping-Rosy_Maxine_Roger Pratt’s cinematography is grimly effective – especially the shots within Charlotte’s sterile, open-plan apartment which overlooks a building site – in its depiction of London; the City divides and rules, and this is reinforced by the inclusion of some rather crass stereotyping ; Northerners, Southerners, Poles, they are all expendable it would seem albeit by a really implausible denouement.

By the end, the audience is left unsure as to what the film is trying to say specifically in relation to gender politics, class, crime and punishment. There are hints but it never fully commits.

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