The Chemical Brothers score this heartfelt, humorous drama about a community of thieves living on a caravan site in the West Country. Yep, you guessed it: Film 4.
At the head of the clan stands Pa Cutler (Brendan Gleeson), a man set in his ways, convinced every word his father said was truth (and therefore so are his), determined to preserve their way of life. Recently finding himself at loggerheads with Pa is son Chad (Michael Fassbender), who simply wants what’s best for his children, no longer believing that a life of crime entails that. Supporting Pa and Chad are a surprisingly endearing group of family and friends who all live in the close community built at the small site. Enjoying a high speed car chase, Chad often finds himself in trouble with the police, spearheaded by a surprisingly gruff Rory Kinnear, out to finally catch those who have caused him so much trouble.
“pitches familial tension with just enough discomfort as to be believed”
Rather unexpectedly, the film features some of the most thrilling car chases, despite occurring mostly in various Fiats and the occasional 4×4. Trespass Against Us opens to a car pelting across a field in pursuit of a hare, driven by Chad’s young son, seated on his father’s lap, and each proceeding chase builds in intensity and threat, winding up in a night-time cross country affair.
The performances are, as you might expect, superb character portrayals from the three fantastic actors, only bolstered by the equally appealing supporting cast. There are some interesting set pieces, especially when countering Pa’s strong faith, once with a church interior as the backdrop, against his criminal leanings.
Trespass Against Us is certainly an entertaining film, but it’s more than just that, investigating a unique family situation and the murky grey waters of crime to support loved ones. It pitches familial tension with just enough discomfort as to be believed, but never pushing it over the line of dissociating from those we’ve learnt to engage with. A piece typical of Film 4’s ever-exciting output, you’ll not be blown away, but you’ll be impressed by Adam Smith’s first foray into feature film.
Image: Adam Smith