Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Keeping Rosy (2014)

First things first, let me say how much I love Maxine Peake. The star of such brilliant programmes as The Village, Criminal Justice, See No Evil, Silk, Shameless and Dinnerladies is a real Northern star and an inspiration when it comes to authenticity, integrity and political beliefs. 

But Keeping Rosy, one of her sadly all too rare forays onto the big screen, is something of a disappointment.

She stars as Charlotte, a control freak of a career woman whose whole existence spirals out of control the minute she loses her high flying city job. Things get spectacularly bad with a massive, jaw dropping twist within the first ten minutes that turns this from a chilly character study of a brittle woman into a tense and unsettling thriller.

Crucially, without giving the plot away, the disastrous and fraught chain of events that follow actually make the character of Charlotte more likeable as she rides each turmoil. It goes without saying that Peake delivers in pinched featured spades here, as she continues to prove that she is physically incapable of giving a duff performance, but Keeping Rosy isn't really a film that matches her talents, thanks to its increasing implausibility. Nor does it match the talents of Christine Bottomley who plays Peake's estranged sister down from Manchester and, most surprising of all, Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison. Those who only know Harrison solely from the laddish, gross-out E4 sitcom and its subsequent big screen spin offs will see a very different side to him here and if the actor is intending to break away from the doltish Neil role then he's picked a great springboard to make that leap from. 

The central trio of actors are not the only star of Keeping Rosy that really stands out; consider too the elegantly bleak and austere cinematography from Roger Pratt who takes the hollow and impersonal residential sections of London's Docklands, with names like Elysium Towers, and depicts them with the right amount of frost to match both Charlotte's initial character and the harshness of the tale.

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