Three weeks into January, and a third cataclysm story told from a female perspective. We are blessed with some great stories.
First, Julia Roberts in Leave the World Behind and then Eilish in Prophet Song.
Now, at the cinema watching Jodie Comer play 'woman' in The End We Start From. The story is based on a debut novel by Megan Hunter, released in 2017.
Set in present-day Britain, very pregnant 'woman' goes into labour, as catastrophic flooding arrives. Literal waters breaking, mostly under the door of a suburban house.
What follows is a national disaster, where flooding across the UK drives 'woman' and 'R' to the country with infant Zeb.
The first stop, with parents who mistakenly believe they are prepared. After heart-rending tragedy, to an organised shelter, some separation and finally to a commune. We follow 'woman' as she raises her infant baby whilst dealing with a breakdown in civilisation.
I enjoyed this film; Jodie Comer is excellent. The supporting cast are superb, with Joel Fry as 'R'. Mark Strong and Nina Sosanya play the parents. There are also lovely cameo parts for Benedict Cumberbatch and Gina McKee.
For a disaster movie, there is very little action. We know that there has been violent, extreme flooding but the story is played out in the actions and emotions of the characters.
There were some scenes that reminded me of Children of Men or The Road. Desolation conveyed by loneliness, and the actions of others. I left the cinema thinking just how quickly society would break down if a major event happened like this. Our recent pandemic an example of how the worst in people is just under the surface.
The soundtrack by Anna Meredith is perfect. Sequenced keyboards elevate the tension without being over-dramatic. Cameras are beautiful, simply shot with very few CGI scenes. Jodie Comer commands the screen throughout, alongside a baby who appears in almost every scene.
I loved this, more British dystopia please!