Director Bille Eltringham has made a grainy digital video film about a manhut in the Highland Hills. Scripted by Simon Beaufoy of Full Monty, Eltringham's tale is simple and brutal. Heaton (Kenneth Glenaan) picks up small time crook Spike (Michael Colgan) from prison and they set off on the road. Eventually they run out of gas by a nearby farm and an unfortunate accidental death occurs.
The grieving farmer is called upon by a vigilante posse and a chase ensues for the two bungling fugitives. The local landowner (David Bradley) - organizes an armed search party to find the men. The chase is the bulk of the movie and is drawn out and gruesome where the two men make their way through the forest, highlands and moors to elude their pursuers. They try to get to 'the city' but the farmers keep them cornered them in their own rural surroundings. The fugitives even manage to get up close and personal trying to score some sandwiches, close to the hunter headquarters.
The actor duo is a strong suit with the brisk distorted rants of Spike, offset by the cool and later panicking logic of Heaton.
The persistence of the approaching posse frightens the men and they make stupid mistakes, as stupid as when they first start off trying to get gas .When Heaton sprains an ankle he can't walk. Out on the moor, he is vulnerable and later seeks safety in a cave. Search and destroy is the goal of the posse, who are vindictive and cold, driven to avenge a senseless death.
All through the film hit song 'This is Not a Love Song' by Adrian Johnston and Mark Rutherford (P.i.L.) prevails like a musical mantra and yes, by the end of the film you are aware it is not and that you never thought it was. The lingering digital camera gives you prime position in the manhunt at bay, but it's hard to side with the posse or the hunted men for the ordeal is both mindless and futile.
Eltringham suceeds in showing how a simple road trip can get majorly bungled and run completely and utterly haywire.
For Movie Magazine, this is Moira Sullivan, Stockholm Sweden
© 2003 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 8/03
This Is Not A Love Song
UK - 2002