Thursday, 3 September 2020

Centigrade (2020)

The relatively inexperienced director Brendan Walsh brings us a claustrophobic thriller in the style of Locke, 7500, Phone Booth and Buried with pretty much the whole film being shot inside a single set. In this case, the inside of a car. Supposedly 'based on true events' or 'inspired by a true story' on further digging, it seems that it's barely based on anything true, but still. That's quite common.

A pregnant woman and her husband are in Norway on a book promotion tour. They are travelling one night in freezing rain and decide to do the sensible thing, pull over and wait until the morning before moving on. They wake up in the morning to find themselves snowed/iced into their car, trapped, can't get out.

Vincent Piazza and Genesis Rodriguez are the two players and they do a good job with the material they have. She's really annoying and they move between married-couple bickering to demonstrations of deep love and commitment to each other. I'm glad that it's not really true because the pair make some bizarre decisions in their situation. Anyway, I'll say no more on that!

The film is really slow as the time passes, but maybe that's part of the point for the audience. After about an hour, it's slowed to walking pace and I almost gave up! The last half-hour of this 90 minute film, however, brings us some events and activities which keep our interest en route to the climax.

The camerawork is pretty good in places, making the interior of this car seem much bigger than it really is - and finding interesting long-shots reflecting the anxiety and dwindling resolve of the characters. If you're going to do this, and I would suggest that yes, it is worth it, get a big carton of popcorn and make sure you're wide awake at the outset!

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