The Levelling (2016) Movie Review

Director: Hope Dickson Leach

Writer: Hope Dickson Leach (Screenplay)

Starring: Ellie Kendrick, David Troughton, Jack Holden, Joe Blakemore

Plot: Somerset, October 2014. When Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) receives a call telling her that her younger brother Harry (Joe Blakemore) is dead, she must return to her family farm and face the man she hasn’t spoken to in years: her father Aubrey (David Troughton). She is shocked to discover her home changed forever by the devastating floods that destroyed the area six months earlier, and Aubrey a tormented shadow of his former self. As she learns what has been going on in her long absence she and her father forge a new understanding, but can it withstand the troubles that they face on the ravaged farm as well as the truth of what drove Harry to take his own life?

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strong Drama

Story: The Levelling starts when Clover (Kendrick) returns to his family farm after her brother’s Harry (Blakemore) suicide, he had just been given the farm by their father Aubrey (Troughton), with the family grounds being ruined by recent floods.

The longer Clover is around the farm the more disturbing the reality of what has happened to her family home is, with her veteran training going well, she is left to do the difficult jobs around the farm, ones she doesn’t believe in.

Thoughts on The Levelling

Characters – Clover is a veteran student that was raised in the farm and boarding school, she hasn’t been home in a while and now her brother has died, she returns to see things have changed, first with the flood and then with what has happened to her family, laws being broken, so many unanswered questions for her to look into before she returns to her own life. Aubrey is her father, he now lives in a caravan on the grounds, drinking a lot, struggling to keep the farm afloat after trying to pass it onto his son. He has many secrets about what happened and has always been distant from Clover, not willing to open up about what really happened that night. James is one of the farmhands that was close to Harry, he knows more about what happened, filled with guilty about what happened.

PerformancesEllie Kendrick is great in the leading role, showing us how one person can become shocked by the changes they find in their life, showing the broken side of her character after what happened. David Troughton shows us just how men will hold in emotions after a tragic loss in his life, with the supporting cast showing how they would have been affected too.

StoryThe story here follows a family member returning to the family home after a death in the family, where they get to learn the secrets that may have led to that death and the troubles the family was facing. This is a drama that shows us how difficult life can be for a family business in farming with natural disaster problems causing more troubles, we get to see how the family has been broken without any fix and returning home can show you how much has changed even in what feels like a short time, we get to deal with loss from three main perspectives, a father, a sister and a best friend, all who didn’t see it coming and are left feeling helpless for not being able to help.

SettingsThe film is set on the farm and surrounding land, it shows us just how the landscape has changed for Clover since she was last there and how important it is to her from her time growing up there.

Scene of the Movie – The funeral morning.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Shaky cam.

Final Thoughts This is a nice drama that deals with family struggles and life in the aftermath of a suicide, with the guilty the ones left behind feeling helpless.

Overall: Strong & Important.

ABC Film Challenge – Adventure – B – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) Movie Review

Director: Stephen Herek

Writer: Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Dan Shor, Tony Steedman

Plot: Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine.

Tagline – History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell..

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure starts as two slackers Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) who are wanting to be music roskstars but leaves them struggling in High School and they both need to past a history exam or they will flunk the year.

Rufus (Carlin) has been sent back through time to put the pair back in line, which will see them travelling through time to meet some of the most important historical figures, causing more problems than they could ever imagine.

Thoughts on Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Characters & Performances – Bill & Ted are the best friends who want to be in their band Wyld Stallyns, they have one day to finish their history reports or face flunking high school. Little do the pair know, they are a major part of history and they need to pass this class, which will see them needing to travel through time to meet different historical icons that will give them the answers they need and learn how to take life that little bit more seriously. Alex Winter & Keanu Reeves are both great together with great chemistry through the film. Rufus is the guide for the two, who does work very well in the film. Where the characters fall short is in how the historical figures are portrayed, as poor comic book like characters, instead of showing a remote amount of serious behaviour.

StoryThe story here follows to high school slackers who get to travel through time to meet historical icons to help them with a history report which sees them getting involved of a string of miss-adventures. This is a story which at the time of release would have been a lot of fun, but the world has changed and nearly everything feels outdated. The idea of the different people from history being studied in school in confusing, as a select few that they meet would never come up in any history class either. The idea that the slackers are the heroes of their own destiny is important, with the musical dream being something that is easy to get behind. We do get the story which will commit to the silly side, holding back any attempts to keep things serious in anyway.

ThemesBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a film that will take the adventure through time, which does work and give plenty of comical moments, well in the eyes of the writers, not taking history too seriously, we do get to head to different locations in time, which will show us how important learning history can be.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is an adventure comedy which hasn’t aged as well as it would have liked to, even if it has two enjoyable lead characters.