Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Exile

We watched the three-part TV film, Exile, on DVD over the last couple of days. A seriously gloomy piece, but aided by a neat mystery that can only be solved if a man with Alzheimer's can be persuaded to reveal a secret. Improbable, I suspect, but the cast made it work.

John Simm plays a washed-out journalist who returns to his home town only to find that his father (Jim Broadbent) has developed Alzheimer's. His long-suffering sister (Olivia Colman) has been caring for the old man, and is at the end of her tether. She's not impressed to have her wastrel of a brother dragging her down further, and basically tells him to shape up or ship out.

He starts off badly but gradually picks up some of the slack, and then begins to try and find out why his father became so violently angry with him eighteen years before, an event that caused him to leave home. Alongside this, he starts an affair with his former best friend’s wife, causing ructions in a different area.

The film could have been very downbeat, but the casting is excellent, with the three leads at the top of their games, and there are enough twists and turns in the story to keep you guessing till the end.
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