BIFF Review: Dead Cat

-Jenni Malloch

Despite initial skepticism over the outline of the plot being rather a cliche, this offering from the British Independent Film Festival actually succeeded in being rather innovative. Set in London, the storyline is based on the reforming of a relationship between two childhood sweethearts who haven’t spoken in ten years. After meeting again at a speed dating night Michael (Sebastian Armesto) once again falls for Kristen (Sophia Dawnay) and then pursues her - to the eventual satisfaction of both. The film is bulked out by their friends who have issues of their own and also offer the couple wise advice - often simply or humorously expressed, but words which go to the heart.

What sets this film apart is that the characters are rather more believable and well rounded compared to those found in the majority of romantic comedies. Michael in particular is not exceedingly likeable initially, but he does feel like someone you might actually meet. Importantly, the parts are also superbly acted. We see them genuinely grow throughout the film at a steady pace that gives it a realistic feel, in contrast with many films which feature a startlingly unexpected change of heart. The soundtrack is also a large part of the triumph of the film, the musical choices aligning perfectly with the story to create an atmosphere that enhances rather than detracts from the acting.

It is true that the film does leave the viewer with one or two unanswered questions and some of the camera angles are perhaps not perfect. Yet overall it is an excellent film, particularly impressive when their budget of a mere £30,000 is considered.

Jenni saw Dead Cat as part of BIFF 2013 on 9th May at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh

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