I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Director: Ken Loach

Writer: Paul Laverty (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann, Dylan McKiernan, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe

 

Plot: After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Must Watch Movie

 

Story: I, Daniel Blake starts as we learn that Daniel (Johns) has suffered a heart attack and is on the mend, not ready to return to work as per doctor’s orders, only he financial support allowance has been taken away from him. Calming going through the processes to get it collecting again Daniel finds himself going round in circles.

When he meets and defends single mother Katie (Squires) who is new to the area trying to get signed up for her own allowances, the two become friends and offer to support each other in their battle to just keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, it what is a shocking look at the benefit system.

 

Thoughts on I, Daniel Blake

 

Characters – Daniel Blake has worked his whole life, he lost his wife and suffered a heart attack while working, living on support allowance while recovering until the doctors clear him to work, he learns that he has lost his allowance and gets forced into a battle just to get enough money to live, getting sent round in circles to get an appeal date. Katie is a Londoner forced to move to Newcastle for a flat with her two children, working with Daniel she has her own battles to stay afloat putting her children first, seeing Daniel as the friend she needs to help her settle. Daisy is the eldest child of Katie that has been seeing the good in Daniel who is one of the only people outside of her family to help her. China is the neighbour of Daniel’s he offers to help if Daniel needed anything even if he is from a different generation or background.

PerformancesDave Johns steps in the first film role and is fantastic, giving us a performance, we truly sympathise with. Hayley Squires is strong through the film where we see how she has been beaten down by life and needs to remain strong for her children. The supporting cast are good and help Dave get the spotlight like he deserves.

StoryThe story gives us a shocking look at the benefit system in the UK, we follow Daniel who has worked his whole adult life until his heart attack meaning he can’t return to work, which leads to him to need to fight for benefits he is entitled to, but the government wouldn’t give him the benefits. The story shows us the flaws in the system which could leave people with nothing and even on the streets. This could easily be considered a warning to what people are going through without needing to ask for help and how the system can be considered for a new look to help.

SettingsThe film is set in Newcastle the northern city in England, one that has been known for harder times but unity between the people there.


Scene of the Movie –
Spray paint,

That Moment That Annoyed Me That this is a real problem.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the more important movies you will see, especially if you are UK based, it will give you a shocking look at the benefit system and just how flawed it is, while making you want to support the lead character in his battle for basic support.

 

Overall: Essential viewing for all.

Rating

 

 

Blood Cells (2015)

This is for the upcoming US DVD release of the multi awarding winning festival film out on the 20th August 2015.

ogoDirector: Joseph Bull, Luke Seomore

Writer: Joseph Bull, Luke Seomore, Ben Young (Screenplay)

Starring: Jimmy Akingbola, Silas Carson, Daniel Ezra, Francis Magee, Gino Picciano, Chloe Pirrie, Hayley Squires, Barry Ward

Plot: A decade after a catastrophe destroyed his family and their farm, momentous news from home compels an exiled young man to embark upon an intense and surreal journey through the broken and beautiful margins of contemporary Britain.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Drama

Story: Blood Cells starts by showing us the effects of the devastating foot and mouth epidemic had on a farm and the farmer who lost his entire live stock. Adam (Ward) who loses his work has to make the decision on whether to return home for his brother’s child being born or he will be forgotten about by his family for good, this shows us something has pushed them apart and this is going to be the last chance to fix things.

As we watch Adam travelling back we see him meet different characters and exchange life stories with a range of people. We also see how Adam is trying to deal with the difficult decision of returning to a place that clearly is filled with bad memories, all the way he is haunted by the memory of a haunting gun shot and what he found.

Blood Cells is a brilliant drama that shows the difficulty people have with dealing personal problems that could easily break up a family. It shows how one man will have to face the people in their life and how they have been effected by their presence. I do think this will be one that shows so much about dealing with the effects of foot and mouth but I do wish we did get more about the effects on his younger character. This does deserve the praise it gets from the festivals. (8/10)

Actor Review

Barry Ward: Adam is the drifter from a farming family who has to decide whether to travel back across England to be with his brother for the birth of his child, he has a haunting moment from his past that has separated him from his family that he must overcome in order to rebuild the bridges he burnt all those years ago. Barry gives a great performance and deserves the praise he is receiving in the festival scene. (9/10)adam

Support Cast: Blood Cells brings us a range of supporting character that Adam has met through his life, each one has helped him with his final decision on whether to return home.

Director Review: Joseph Bull, Luke SeomoreThis directing pair create some very special shots, mixed with brilliant story telling and will definitely be names to look out for in the future. (9/10)

Drama: Blood Cells uses character motives to drive the film as each scene helps our character make the tough decision. (9/10)

Settings: Blood Cells uses each setting perfectly without using anything iconic. (9/10)

Suggestion: Blood Cells is one to be watching because it shows the lasting effects of the foot and mouth epidemic. (Watch)

Best Part: Barry Ward’s performance is brilliant.

Worst Part: Not enough of the original incident.

Believability: It could well be a true effect of what happened because families could easily have been broken up from the problem. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Awards: Won awards from the festival scene including Best British films.awards

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Overall: Brilliant drama that shows how even a mistake can be recovered from over time.

Rating 80