Directed by: Kelvin Richards
Written by: Kelvin Richards
Starring: Daisie Boyes, Barney Jones, Thea Knight, Alex Smart, Robert H. Wainwright
Film Review by: Darren Tilby
Times & Measures Movie Review
Desperate times call for desperate measures as mother and daughter, Corina (Thea Knight) and Melanie (Daisie Boyes), are left destitute when husband/father, Desmond (Alex Smart), suddenly abandons the family in Kelvin Richards’ feature-length film debut. Part thriller, part socio-political drama (although never as strong as either), Times & Measures can best be placed somewhere between a Ken Loach and a David Fincher film.
Corina and her teenage daughter are left broke and on the verge of homelessness when her husband – and sole provider since Corina gave up on her career so Desmond could follow his – ups and leaves unexpectedly, leaving only a note. Desperate for money, Corina begins to sell anything not essential: she sells her sofa, she uses cold water instead of hot where possible, and, most importantly, she downgrades her iPhone to an older model. But the second-hand phone has a little surprise waiting for her: a sim card already lodged inside. It is not long before she starts to receive strange phone calls, and answering could change everything for her.
If I were to rate this film on the strength of its actors alone, it would likely be a five-star rating, so good are the two central performances here. I am, of course, talking about the on-screen mother and daughter pairing of Thea Knight and Daisie Boyes; two fantastic leads who carry the entirety of the movie’s emotional weight—and believe me, that is a lot of weight to bear!
But that is what they, and writer/director Kevin Richards, do so well in Times & Measures. They have captured the awful nature of real despair. Anyone who has been in such a financially desperate situation knows how god-awful it is; how utterly helpless it makes you feel. Indeed, Richards’ writing is most vigorous when dealing with societal issues, and I found particular interest in his take on women returning to work after having children. The thriller aspect of the film is less well-written, however, as its laboured pace and plot contrivances often failed to hold my interest or, indeed, even engage me in the first place, as was sometimes the case.
It is also worth noting that, despite the whole film being shot by a crew of only eight people (including actors) and costing less than £5000 to make, Times & Measures is a brilliantly put-together movie. Superb camerawork from Tim Watchorn – which captures the film’s setting – and a stellar score from Luca Fagagnini, both of which compliment the mood of the movie, completing the experience.
Despite its issues with pacing and fairly obvious “twist”, Times & Measures, thanks in large to terrific writing and even better performances, punches well above its weight, and may well be one of the better indie films to deal with social issues that I have seen in quite some time. It is available to watch now on Prime Video, and you should check it out.