Set in North London, ‘Still’ is a gritty and atmospheric thriller about the violent disintegration of a man and father. Tom Carver is stumbling blindly towards a crossroad in his life, thrown out of focus by the death of his teenage son a year earlier. He becomes involved in a feud with a teenage gang after a seemingly harmless collision with a young kid. As the feud becomes more horrifying, Carver’s world starts to unravel forcing him to make decisions that will change his life forever.
Genre : Thriller
Country : UK
Aidan Gillen : Tom Carver
Jonathan Slinger : Ed
Elodie Yung : Christina
Director : Simon Blake
“Whenever I was away… Jobs, meetings, whatever…
Whenever there was a pause, a silence, my thoughts would just drift towards him.
He was always the first thing that came into my head.
Sometimes the only thing.”
“Still” is gray, gloomy, depressing and poignant at the same time. It shows how someone, torn by grief after the loss of his son, leads a self-destructive life and immerses himself into a downward spiral. A hopeless life with alcohol and drugs as support. The film begins with the sound of the fatal accident and snapshots of the victim. Initially, it’s a character study of Tom Carver (Aidan Gillen), a freelance photographer. But gradually it evolves into a dark thriller when a seemingly harmless incident arises between Tom and a local rascal. What follows is a threatening situation full of intimidation, confrontation and criminal offenses. A situation that gradually escalates until Tom decides to take the law into his own hands. A film where the viewer wonders : “What would I do in the same situation?”.
The first thing I wondered was: “How for God’s sake is it possible that an individual such as Tom could get such a gorgeous girlfriend as Christina (Elodie Yung)?”. And his ex-wife Rachel (Amanda Mealing) isn’t exactly ugly either and has kept in touch with him. And at certain times you get the feeling that she wants him back. However, Tom looks like a drunken bum who lives in a squat-like house, somewhere in London. His destructive way of living, filled with alcohol and drugs, plus his with grief tormented spirit, aren’t exactly qualities you search for when you want to start a serious relationship.
The film starts of as a character study about the person Tom. Someone who languishes at home, who visits he grave of his son regularly together with his ex and who tries to do his job. But gradually it transforms into a full-blown thriller that leads into an outright revenge film. The thriller part is the least successful part. First of all the street kids weren’t really threatening at all. Initially it all started innocent with some meaningless pranks and intimidating confrontations. Tom isn’t exactly a McClane-like guy, but rather a typical family man who tries to avoid aggressiveness. The reason why the gangs revenge reached such a groundbreaking peak with Christina as victim, looked pretty far-fetched. Was this an attempt to support the revenge motive? And this revenge part is another story. A horrifying moment in which you sympathize with Tom and in a way you’ll understand his decision. But at the same time deep inside yourself, you’ll feel something isn’t right in his reasoning and his upcoming action is unacceptable.
All in all this was once again a decent British project with brilliant performances. Especially Gillen plays a magnificent part. A rendition that evokes both pity and disapproval. Meanwhile the other performances were excellent as well. A film that fits perfectly in a big city like London. Would this be a Hollywood production, it would be bigger, full of trifling action and exaggerated drama. However, it’s the minimalist and restrained character that makes this movie so great. And in the end the same question came up: “What the hell would I do if I were in his shoes?”