Kalei­do­scope ★★★★★

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews - PB

Dir: Ru­pert Jones. With: Toby Jones, Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews. 99 mins. Cert: 15

Ru­pert Jones di­rects his brother Toby in this down­beat, gloomily claus­tro­pho­bic Bri­tish psy­cho­log­i­cal drama-thriller that could have come straight from the 1960s. It puts us in­side the prison cell of the main char­ac­ter’s mind and in time-hon­oured style, be­gins to blur the dis­tinc­tion be­tween what’s real and what isn’t. There’s an ex­cel­lent sense of lo­ca­tion here, along with very good ac­tors giv­ing very good per­for­mances, mak­ing up for the film’s twist end­ing, which is a bit ex­as­per­at­ing as well as not en­tirely wa­ter­tight. Carl (Jones) is a trou­bled man work­ing as a gar­dener and liv­ing on his own in a coun­cil block, hav­ing just been re­leased from prison. He has a dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with his mother Aileen – an ex­cel­lent por­trayal by Anne Reid – who, to Carl’s dis­may, is plan­ning to come and visit him. All this is com­pli­cated by an in­ter­net date that Carl has set up: a ren­dezvous with Abby (Sinead Matthews) whose de­signs on Carl are not en­tirely clear. At its best, Kalei­do­scope is like an un­set­tling dream fea­tur­ing an Escher stair­case that plunges ver­tig­i­nously down­wards.

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