top of page



average rating is 2 out of 5


Alasdair MacRae


Posted on:

Sep 3, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Jack Linsdell
Written by:
Jack Linsdell
Dan Rutter, Grace Wellfare, Josh Stevenson, Adam Gammage

Isolated fisherman Rick is at the end of his rope, his boss refuses to tolerate his cries for help, and his daughter, Shailene, is desperate to avoid him, sleeping in a car with her on/off boyfriend Brad. After a series of escalating arguments, Rick takes extreme measures when he discovers that his daughter is pregnant.


The world of Solitary is populated by harsh tongues with every word barbed. Characters seem to indulge in bitter arguments and ugly actions even as they continually maintain that they acknowledge their flaws and recognise each other’s humanity. For instance, Rick’s boss finds that Rick has stolen his phone, the latest in a series of petty thefts. He enters into a screaming tirade in which he first acknowledges that the action is nothing but a cry for help, followed by the cliché that he believes in second chances, before promptly sacking him(?), and cruelly concluding that he couldn’t care less if he died. This is just the first conversation that Rick is involved in and it spirals further from there. The way in which each of the characters, from Rick, to his boss, to his daughter, all promote hostility over understanding, makes them increasingly implausible. The actors themselves appear to struggle with convincingly reducing themselves to their characters’ level, which is a significant issue for a film that appears to angle itself as a heightened social drama. This creates a barrier between the audience and any potential emotional investment in the film.


Moments of cinematic invention are few and far between in Solitary. The standout is an unorthodox and intriguing implementation of a handheld tracking shot loosely moving with Rick as he stumbles through his home. The camera moves from room to room, panning left and right, searching for something concrete in Rick’s life to cling on to. Eventually, we arrive at a photo of his daughter as the score reaches its most hauntingly resonant peak. This scene aside, the heavy-handed soundtrack frequently distracts and furthermore, feels out-of-sync with the other aesthetics laid out by the film.


Solitary is a difficult watch. Its characters are hard to engage with in their contradictions and lack of compassion, to the point where the actors portraying them seem as though they are surprised by their actions. Ultimately, too many elements of the film serve to distract and remove the audience from the film for it to be an experience that one could emotionally invest in.

About the Film Critic
Alasdair MacRae
Alasdair MacRae
Indie Feature Film
bottom of page