Lee Anderson, Assistant Manager at Regal Picturehouse, Henley-on-Thames, reviews this week’s Discover Tuesdays title, Radiator.
Director: Tom Browne.
Starring: Daniel Cerqueira, Gemma Jones, Richard Johnson. UK / 2015. Runtime: 94 mins
This absorbing drama is a darkly amusing and insightful story about the relationship between a father and son who have drifted apart over the years.
Richard Johnson (The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas) – in his last ever film – plays Leonard, a stubborn and at times frustrating elderly gentleman who is constantly leaning on his wife, Maria (Gemma Jones). Maria is continually faced with his put-downs and anger. At her wits end, she calls her and Leonard’s son Daniel (Daniel Cerqueira) for support.
It is clear from the outset that Daniel has always had some issues around the way he is treated by his father. Their relationship is quite strained, and this comes across as they spend more time together while Maria visits friends.
Both the family home, which is falling apart, and the isolated Cumbrian landscape seem to reflect the distance between Leonard and Daniel quite beautifully.
It becomes apparent that the family’s inability to communicate their feelings – which is reflected in some of the silences between them all – has added to the resentment that Daniel feels towards his father. Like the family home, everything is cluttered and messy. Rather than deal with the issues, the family hide them away.
Daniel decides to head back to his own life as a teacher, but after a conversation with a friend and a second call from his mother, he soon returns to the family home just as tragedy strikes.
Radiator is a beautifully shot film. Debut director Tom Browne has captured this emotionally charged family unit with aplomb. The script – co-written by Tom Browne and Daniel Cerqueira – works wonderfully under Browne’s direction. This is a moving and delicately crafted British masterpiece.
Radiator plays across Picturehouse Cinemas as part of Discover Tuesdays on 29 December. The screenings at Clapham Picturehouse and The Ritzy, Brixton will be followed by a Q&A with director Tom Browne and actor Daniel Cerqueira
Times+ members can discover stunning cinema by visiting www.ourscreen.com/discover
Every day MUBI’s in-house experts hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have 30 days to watch it. £4.99 a month with the first month free for Picturehouse customers. mubi.com/picturehouse