Wreckers Review

Film Still
  • Wreckers film still


A low-key affair but an interesting take on social realism despite its flaws.

In many ways, Wreckers acts as a riposte to the grim and dour surroundings that are beloved of many British social realist films, as grey council estates are replaced by green and verdant fields. Despite the difference of surroundings the age-old problems of unhappy families and dark secrets still exist, however. It seems middle class society still has many skeletons tucked away in the closet.

Dawn (Claire Foy) and David (Benedict Cumberbatch) are happily married and have decided to return to the village of David’s birth. All is pleasant – the couple's breezy mood mirrored by lush gardens, local church choirs and snug pubs – until David’s brother Nick (Shaun Evans) arrives and spoils this idyll.

On leave from service in Afghanistan, Nick begins to reveal the darker details of his and his brother’s past, as well as that of the village in general. Soon Dawn finds herself wondering whether she knows her husband at all and, when their attempt to have a baby stalls, their relationship begins to falter.

This is an engaging film with the revelations about Nick and David’s past slowly revealed without recourse to the wildly melodramatic. Yet with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, mental illness, abuse and infidelity all shuffled in, Wreckers sometimes feels muddled.

DR Hood’s direction makes great use of the surroundings while occasionaly adding a dreamlike air which helps the film stay on the right side of the theatrical. It’s the performances that make the film, however. The three primary cast members have a believable and intense chemistry, with Cumberbatch managing to show off his measured acting skills while being ably matched by Foy and Evans.

This exposure of the fragility that lies at the heart of the supposed perfect lifestyle is reserved yet – on occasion – powerful.

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