Review chicken-film-scott-chambers-movie-review-world

Published on June 26th, 2015 | by Allan Brown

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EIFF 2015: Chicken Review

 

Movie Review: Chicken (2015)chicken-film-2015-eiff-poster-movie-review-world

Running Time: 86 mins

Rating: 15

Director: Joe A. Stephenson

Writer: Freddie Machin, Chris New

Cast: Scott Chambers, Yasmin Paige, Morgan Watkins

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Adapted from the British stage play of the same name and shot in only nineteen days, comes Joe A. Stephenson’s accomplished directorial début; Chicken.

chicken-eiff-richard-and-fionaIn a battered caravan sited on patch of unused farmland in an English countryside, resides fifteen year old Richard (Scott Chambers). Fuelled with bright eyed optimism and childlike innocence, Richard fills his days rambling in the countryside whilst tending to his best friend Fiona – a chicken.

Despite having learning difficulties, few real friends, and wholly dependent on his abusive and selfish older Brother Polly, Richard’s outlook on life is positive.

However, when financial difficulties begin to arise and a family of new land owner’s move in, a chain of events begin to unfold that will change both their lives forever.

Detrimental to the film’s success is the way its themes are handled. Some of the elements are light and airy whilst others are dark and foreboding. These tonal shifts naturally create an interesting and powerful contrast, and Stephenson utilizes them to devastating effect.

Scott Chambers and Yasmin Paige chicken eiffYasmin Paige (Submarine, The Double) offers another rich performance, this time as Annabelle. Her scenes with Chambers are fun, delightful and often touching. Morgan Watkins (Kingsman: The Secret Service) also makes a notable presence as Polly – Richard’s resentful and abusive brother. However, it is the captivating central performance from young Scott Chambers’ that anchors the film with a genuine warmth and sincerity. Even in his quieter moments free from dialogue, Chambers fills the screen with a quiet tenderness, bringing true authenticity to the role.

Despite its British kitchen-sink drama tag, Eben Bolter’s (Greyhawk) cinematography transcends the dreek and grey tone often associated with the genre, into something quite exquisite. Taking full advantage of its stunning countryside location, Stephenson and Bolter frame the bright colours of spring to offset against the darker elements of the narrative. These subtle touches are wonderfully effective and show a real skill and confidence behind the camera.

There are the occasional performance wobbles and some scenes that don’t quite hit the mark intended, but these are minor quibbles in what is otherwise an incredibly moving début.

EIFF 2015: Chicken Review Allan Brown

Verdict

Summary: Astutely composed from a promising new director and a captivating central performance, ensures Chicken to be one of the golden egg's at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival.

4


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About the Author

Despite my 9-5 being consumed by the daily duties of an Electrician, Movie Review World serves as a platform for me to share my thoughts, explorations and reflections on one of my biggest passions, film.



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