Film Review: Summer

8 Dec

Memory is at the centre of Robert Carlyle’s latest film, Summer. Memories of the past, in particular the events of one summer in the 1980s when his future was set in stone, haunt his character, Shaun, while those around him also feel the effects of what happened years ago.

As Shaun faces up to the fact that his best friend Daz (Steve Evets) only has weeks to live, he decides to go on a journey to find the girl he once was in love with while trying to ensure his future has some meaning following years of caring for Daz.

With frequent flashbacks to the young Shaun and Daz alongside attempts to look into the mind of the older Shaun through fantasy sequences, Summer isn’t a film afraid to play with the audience as the story unfolds.

Taking its time to tell its story, this is slow film but never a monotonous one. There’s never a rush to get from scene to scene, each moment containing just enough information to tell the viewer what they need to know at the time.

Refreshingly, emotions are never overplayed, with thoughts conveyed in a look or a movement rather than dense exposition. The two leads, particularly Carlyle, are magnetic, and do well to convey the despair that Shaun and Daz both feel as their days together stumble to a conclusion.

Impressive cinematography, a poignant script and a superb cast make Summer a winter must-see.

Review by Jonathan Melville

Summer is showing at Edinburgh’s Cameo and Glasgow’s GFT this week.

Here’s a look at the trailer:

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