Newcastle-born actor Charlie Carrick uses his native accent to devastating effect in this clever debut from director Mary Nighy (Bill’s daughter).
Carrick doesn’t have particularly scary lines like the artist Simon, but it’s his voice, or more often his WhatsApp messages, that gets his girlfriend Alice (Anna Kendrick) on edge.
In a powerful opening scene, he continues to nervously check his phone while enjoying drinks with his two best friends (Wunmi Mosaku and Kaniehtiio Horn).
When invited to a country house for a birthday celebration, Alice nervously accepts before running home in a panic. The next day, she makes a strange excuse to her handsome boyfriend, claiming that he has been ordered to go on a business trip.
Initially, this lie seems completely unjustified. But this is the first red flag about their relationship. And, after a while, we can imagine Simon’s needy voice expressing his disapproval of everything he does.
When Alice finally runs away, her companions are at first confused and then alarmed by her behavior. She pulls her hair and worries about what she eats, how she looks and even what she dreams about.
After she reveals that she lied to Simon so she could join them, they express concern about their toxic relationship. She protests, “It doesn’t hurt me though.”
It may not physically hit her, but her perfectionism and narcissism are taking their toll on her. Alanna Francis’ witty script and Kendrick’s edgy performance show us how it feels to be repeatedly knocked down by the nagging voice of an abusive partner.
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