Heartlands (2002)

June 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

Heartlands follows a kind and gentle man — watching characters mistreat him is a little like watching someone kick a dog — as he decides to follow his wife to Blackpool and try to win her back from another man. It’s all a trifle simplistic, given that the other man is a complete wanker, but the film turns out to be a remarkably calm, original and thoughtful road trip film, with a zen central character who not only discovers a whole new life, but the remarkable things a change in perspective can do. The characters he meets along the way are there briefly, but are so well-written they feel completely real, and suddenly the journey is far more interesting than the destination.

The end isn’t quite what you’d expect, but I won’t give it away. And by the time we get there, we’ve been treated to a number of small, excellent moments, some involving no words. A film that’s unpretentious, yet unexpectedly charming and meaningful. Heartlands is easily recommended for anyone.

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