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average rating is 4 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Feb 16, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Georgia Conlan, Martin Hardwick
Written by:
Georgia Conlan
Georgia Conlan, Jason Ward

You’ll see a lot of complaints these days about a lack of creativity in the industry. Studios will say that they can’t risk spending their money on big-budget original films, and will instead prioritise franchises to rake in the big bucks. ‘Lautir’ is the counter to this - a film not lacking in creativity or scale, yet made with a measly £50 budget. For that alone, the film deserves its plaudits, but it does so much more to deserve them.


‘Lautir’ depicts the fairylike tale of two young girls, twins Milly and June, who are sent to perform a ritual which will supposedly rid their village of the demon that has been preying on sinners annually for the last two-hundred years. The girls, naive, yet not lacking courage, journey deep into the forest where they must complete the ritual. The plot itself becomes arbitrary, and in all truth rather plodding, yet somehow never completely loses its focus, reeling the viewer in just as they’re about to be lost. Had the plot been more engaging throughout, rather than just the opening and the conclusion, then ‘Lautir’ would have been more than a minor miracle, it would have been an impossible phenomenon. 


Nevertheless, in spite of a sometimes meandering plot, especially disappointing given that much of it derives from a Galadriel-esque voiceover narration to introduce the story, ‘Lautir’ engages through the sheer force of it’s writer, director, and star Georgia Conlan.


Conlan’s direction, alongside Martin Hardwick, is awe-inspiring, defying it’s budget with grand swathes of natural beauty and luscious hues of green. The forest is allowed to become its own character, brought to life by Conlan’s eloquent lens. It’s truly impressive stuff, and further adds to the twisted fairytale atmosphere of the film, which initially stems from the opening narration, detailing curses and beasts, but grows through the innocence conveyed through the screen. There’s a sense that these girls might be truly pure, in a way which could only be true in a whimsical fairytale, and that is heightened by their intimacy with nature and the world around them. Conlan the actor shares the same eyes as Conlan the director, and those eyes look upon poppy fields and sombre oaks with both curiosity and respect in equal proportions.


As a performance, Conlan’s is magnificent, playing both the twin sisters, as well as voicing the narration and the girl’s mother, and holds the screen with an earnestness and conviction. She seamlessly morphs into both younger-looking role, and at no stage does it appear awkward acting against herself. It’s a fine performance piece for Conlan, demonstrating versatility and capability to captivate the audience. 


Fifty pounds doesn’t get you a long way these days, but it does get you a film like ‘Lautier’, which demonstrates enough creativity to get by with a sluggish script. If Georgia Conlan’s script is sluggish, then her directing and acting is anything but, and the film works as a pure demonstration of her talent, capturing nature and purity both behind and in front of the camera. All with a meagre budget of fifty pounds. Take note Hollywood. 

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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