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Itawari

UK 2010
produced by
Mark Charles Adams, Adam Gibson for Satori Pictures, 372 Film Production
directed by Mark Charles Adams
starring Adam Gibson, Hannah Cork, Gerard P. Howells, Mark Charles Adams, Jay Blyth
written by Mark Charles Adams, Adam Gibson, music by Paul Ai Wen Hannam, Almost Knees, Gina Kaz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jack (Adam Gibson) works as a security guard at an abandoned prison - a dead end job in more ways thank one: On one hand it's a job offers no chances for promotion, on the other it's also a job of very little importance, and also a job that's anything but stimulating - in fact it's dead boring. Which is just great for Jack, because he's a man of no discernible interests and little ambition, so walking through empty hallways day-in and day-out is just alright for him. Jack takes his job seriously, too, much to the ridicule of the other guards (Gerard Howells, Mark Charles Adams) who work the opposite shifts.

Eventually, Jack starts to realize there's someone else in the hospital with him, someone who's stealing his cookies and drinks his coffee when he's not in his office, but who other than that is rather good at evading him. Jack wants to file a report about this, but then chooses not to. Instead he tries to track down whoever-it-is himself, but sees this more as a game of cat-and-mouse than anything else, even helping his invisible opponent out with a sleeping bag and a container of soup when he's not chasing him.

Eventually, the intruder makes himself known to Jack, and it's a woman, Hannah (Hannah Cork). Hannah's pretty much the opposite of Jack, because despite the fact that life has dealt her a rotten hand, she hasn't lost her good spirits, her positive outlook on life. Now at least Jack knows he's supposed to report her, but he takes an instant liking in Hannah, and even though she claims she doesn't need his help, he insists on helping her, at least within his boundaries, buys her stuff, and sees to it that she gets the best room in the house, the hospital chapel the security guards are routinely not checking on their rounds (Jack still keeps Hannah a secret of course). Jack starts caring more and more for Hannah, so much so that he also spends his days off in the hospital, and in turn, she shows him how to open up, how to find a perspective in life again. Eventually, their friendship turns into love ... until Jack learns about a gas leak in the hospital's basement, and before he can warn Hannah, she's blown to pieces ...

Hannah is gone, and Jack's job as a security guard ends eventually, but he's not ready to let go, and after the end of the assignment he becomes a squatter himself, camping out at the hospital and reliving past memories, good and bad, determined to go down with the hospital, which is to be torn down in a few days time ...

 

Deliberately slow-moving and atmospheric, this film tells a simple love story full of surprises: Sure, the film's main premise, "security guard falls in love with squatter" might not exactly sound original, but the way the film is told is - none of the film's romance is straight-forward, and from the beginning on it is closer to a ghost story than any other romance. Add to this the fact that the film (other than my synopsis) is told in a non-linear way that contrasts Jack the security guard with Jack the desperate squatter, and anticipates the disaster in the finale for quite some time, and you're left with a highly original piece of work. That Adam Gibson is just great in the lead role doesn't hurt one bit either, of course.

Recommended!

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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