Blast from her past

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Reviews -

WHAT WAS it Amy Hu­ber­man did be­fore she mar­ried that bas­ket­ball player (or what­ever)? Oh, yes, she was an ac­tor. And this taut Ir­ish thriller from PJ Dil­lon, hith­erto an ac­claimed cin­e­matog­ra­pher, re­minds us that Hu­ber­man is, in fact, a darn tal­ented one.

Rewind is a lit­tle bit short for a full-blown the­atri­cal re­lease. The end­ing is a tad me­chan­i­cal. But the fluid direc­tion and su­perb cen­tral per­for­mances – an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally nasty Allen Leach is equally good – help the piece fiz­zle with men­ace.

What we have here is a fresh en­try into the “guilty past” school of sus­pense. Hu­ber­man plays Karen, a set­tled mother liv­ing in a sleek house with a lov­ing hus­band. One day, Karl, an old ac­quain­tance, saun­ters into her life and – for rea­sons that emerge slowly – causes her to twitch ner­vously. Even­tu­ally, af­ter Karl threat­ens to re­veal her grim se­cret, Karen agrees to ac­com­pany him on an ill-ad­vised road trip. Aw­ful things hap­pen in the for­est.

Hand­ing cam­era du­ties to Ken Byrne, Dil­lon al­lows the film to un­furl in a sin­is­ter se­ries of me­tal­lic greys and chem­i­cal blues. From the mo­ment the pic­ture be­gins we know we are in an un­happy place. The sense of a too re­cently for­got­ten, more des­per­ate Ire­land re­turn­ing to re­claim the com­pla­cent tigers is, per­haps, un­in­tended, but that sub­text adds an un­set­tling res­o­nance.

Dil­lon’s clever­est de­ci­sion was, how­ever, to cast Leech and Hu­ber­man as the two for­mer con­spir­a­tors. Leech, re­cently the am­bi­tious chauf­feur in Down­ton Abbey, has gen­er­ally dealt in cheeky benev­o­lence. Hu­ber­man would have been few direc­tors’ first choice for a work­ing-class girl made good. But, dredg­ing through im­pres­sive reser­voirs of grit, both ac­tors make a virtue of their de­cep­tively shiny good looks.

Rewind is a se­ri­ously im­pres­sive col­lab­o­ra­tion. Let’s hope the team man­ages to re­group soon with a big­ger bud­get.

Chas­ing Amy: Leech and Hu­ber­man

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