A Field In England (2013)
Cert: 15 / 90 mins / Dir. Ben Wheatley / Trailer
I have no idea what just happened. I think I enjoyed it? I didn't really understand it, but I think I enjoyed it. But y'know, that's Ben Wheatley, I suppose (I didn't get on with his earlier film Kill List, yet I adored Sightseers. Even though I can tell how similar they are. Explain that if you can).
Taking place during the English Civil War, shot and presented in black and white, with a minimal cast and a set consisting of fields (obviously), A Field In England is a borderline surreal experience at best. Reece Shearsmith brings his A-game as Whitehead, one of a group of opposing deserters who decide to forego the surrounding battle and withdraw to a nearby alehouse, when en-route they encounter the mysterious and brutal O'Neil (Michael Smiley), who captures the band and forces them to dig for nearby buried treasure. Sound weird? That's not the half of it. By the time witchcraft and hallucinogens kick in during the film's third act, it's like a post-Jacobean rave, and the best thing to do is appreciate the cinematography and performances.
Like I said, I think I enjoyed the film, but I know it won't be everybody's cup of tea, and I'm not even sure how much more I'll get out of it through a re-watch.
More of a hyper-animated classical painting than a film, A Field In England is like a hypnotic description of a nightmare you once had about the things you used to learn in History class.
No, really haven't. It had a simultaneous cinema/VOD/DVD release, and I managed to miss all of them. The shame.
I'm glad I've finally watched it, yes...
…that's a little more tricky.
Reece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley both appeared in Shaun of the Dead, as did perennial Prequel-basher Simon Pegg, who voiced the bounty hunter Dengar in season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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