Once every so often a film will come along that completely changes the way you think about certain things, and for me that film is Heartless. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this film, I just knew the main character had a love heart shaped birth mark on his face and he saw demons. As is the way with some films, the less you know the better the experience ends up being. So with that I will be as vague as possible about the plot specific’s with Heartless.
Down to basics, Jamie (Jim Sturgess) is in his mid 20’s, lives with his mother, he has issues due to the large birth mark on his face. Things seem to be chaotic where he lives, violence is on the increase and he believes that demons may be responsible. Strange events begin to unfold, and Jamie is set upon a journey he never expected. That is about all I can tell you, no specifics, reveal nothing. Heartless is all about a journey, Jamie’s journey and you just need to sit down and watch it.
I was amazed with this film just 10 minutes in, everything about it grabbed me and pulled me right in. From the get go the film belongs to Jim Sturgess, who to quite simply put it is amazing as Jamie. He gives this honest and heartbreaking performance, that really elevates this film. He is front and center, he’s someone who is incredibly attractive, and that is down played for a lot of the film. He made it work, with help from some great make-up and scruffy hair. Jamie is a sympathetic character, he’s a nice guy, shy for obvious reasons and someone that I think most people can relate to in some way. I honestly can’t imagine anyone else as Jamie, Sturgess was perfect. His supporting cast were all great as well from Ruth Sheen and Timothy Spall and his parents to Noel Clarke, Justin Salinger, Luke Treadaway and Clemence Posey as the people who are in his life. There are another two actors who plays two fantastic characters but I wont mention them in fear of possible spoilers. But if you have seen the film you will know exactly what I mean.
This film has an amazing look to it, I really did feel like I was right there with Jamie as he went through everything. The film has amazing use of colour, sound and music, locations and just simply beautiful looking shots. This film was paced perfectly, it moved exactly as I wanted it to, never boring and never rushing anything. It is becoming rare when a film can do that all the way through, I simply loved that about this. Writer/Director Philip Ridley has crafted something so beautiful and tragic and you know what I love him for it. The script was fantastic, I loved the story and the way that there are certain things which are left up to the audience to decide. He doesn’t spoon feed you the film, you experience it and you come out on your own. In a way I could compare it to the way David Lynch works, there were things in this film that felt Lynchian. Quite simply I loved this film, every little bit of it. I can’t recommend this enough, nothing wrong with giving something different a chance. Normally I would have written a much longer review but I really did not want to risk revealing too much.