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Lapwing

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A faraway beachside encampment, somewhere in Tudor England, and toxic masculinity is running rife among the men and women of this fair isle. Lapwing is debutant Philip Stevens’ film of Laura Turner’s script, and its themes of domination, gaslighting and psychological abuse across gender lines could apply to any place or any time.

At the centre of all this is Emmett J Scanlan’s David, a knife-wielding, beady-eyed confidence trickster who has set up a scheme to secure passage to those looking to flee the country. As they wait for a boat to arrive (will it ever?), the mute Patience (Hannah Douglas) connects with a strapping yet tender Egyptian wanderer named Rumi (Sebastian de Souza), and when David catches wind of their union, well, it sends him on a foaming rampage.

Though the film is unapologetically violent, its female protagonists have enough agency and fortitude to bring some surprising twists to the brew. The power that David holds over his followers is convincingly wrought through a shouted word salad of suspicion and false equivalence, even if the dialogue, with its constant effing and blinding, occasionally feels too anachronistic and modern.

Visually and dramatically, the film doesn’t reinvent any wheels, nor does it set out too, instead happy to splice together a satisfyingly intense period drama with some nice moments of genre pay-off.







ANTICIPATION.
Low-budget British period drama with some light genre trappings. Give it a go... 3

ENJOYMENT.

Low on originality, but the performers are wholly committed and that sees the film through. 3

IN RETROSPECT.

Will be nice to see what Stevens and Turner go on to do next. 3





Directed by
Philip Stevens

Starring
Emmett J Scanlan, Sebastian De Souza, Hannah Douglas

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