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Struck film review




Struck is a remarkable character-driven story whose narrative gradually comes together from recorded footage and subtly revealing dialogue sequences. Themes of #homosexuality, #miscommunication and the complexities of #friendship run through this expertly woven story; which keeps you guessing right until the end.

Writer, Alexander Milo Bischof, uses a three avenue approach in telling the story of a group of high school friends, whose relationships are put to the test as closely guarded secrets begin to reveal themselves.

Best friends, Jenny (Daisy Montgomery) and Kate (Olivia Rose), comprise one of the said avenues and begin their story on a bench in the woods, taking selfies and discussing everything and nothing. As teenagers tend to do.

We’re next introduced to our second avenue, best friends, Steve (Connor Mayes) and Jamie (Will Sutcliffe). Walking home through the same woods, they discuss parties, drinking and girls. As teenage boys tend to do.

Our third avenue comes in the form of teacher, Mr (Paul) Thompson (Christopher Foran), who is introduced to us sat in his car, and on the phone to his wife, who isn’t happy that he’s going to be late home again. But who then goes jogging in the woods anyway. As teachers with secrets tend to do.

There’s a relatively small cast here, which works well within the story arc. It creates an immediate sense of closeness between the girls and the boys and ultimately, it intensifies the paranoia and tension felt as secrets begin to unravel. The cast, as a whole, is brilliant. There are some intricate character arcs in Struck and indications of there being something amiss start from the very beginning of the film. It’s wholly to the actors' credit that they deliver these arcs and secrets believably, and never overemphasise the subtleties which point toward them.

The script is generally well-written – although there are a few instances of awkward dialogue to be found – and comes imbued with a naturalistic flair, while #JonathanMoore's #cinematography is delicate but skilfully used. But it's the movie's sound design which really stands out here. #JasonPinches’ (sound designer) and #MichaelLing's (sound recordist) #exceptional work creates a #thriller-movie ambience which was reminiscent of #TheGirlontheTrain.

It’s difficult to talk about the themes of the film without giving something away. Even if it’s only something slight. As this was one of those rare films that actually kept me wondering the entire time, I’d rather not go too in depth here. But I will say, that to me at least, Struck seemed to be saying something on the issue of #communication, or lack thereof. More specifically, how the very #technology designed to bring us closer together, often has the opposite effect.

Struck benefits from some fantastic #writing, brilliant acting and pitch-perfect direction. Couvaras and Bischof lead us perfectly through the metaphorical (and physical) undergrowth of the film's three narrative paths, which culminates in a potentially sinister finale. And watching as these unfold and ultimately converge is nothing short of magnificent. Struck is available to watch on #AmazonPrimeUK and is well worth your time.



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