Red-head beauty and rising British star Emily Beecham, best known for her role in The Coen Brothers movie Hail, Caesar! plays the fiercely independent yet fragile Daphne, who resides in her one bed apartment in London with pet snake Scratch for company.
With a soul searching mother with cancer and being a care-free single in her 30’s, Daphne quickly gives us the impression that all is not how it would seem beneath her hard shell appearance. As much as she wouldn’t admit soberly, she’s dispirited with life and unenthused with her job at the restaurant, we find her dealing with her emotions wildly after-hours at the local drinking hole or alone at home. A character of many sides, she potentially wants to enjoy a calm and contemplative night in with a book, but it seems she has too many mind demons to truly appreciate that experience, so overcompensates that by going out out on drug filled nights with friends instead.
The unusual flirtationship with married boss Joe, (played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Peaky Blinders) offers her opportunities to contemplate her pessimism quietly whether it’s at the bar, bonding over special Irish cheese imports or on a fag break. “Love is an unnecessary illusion to binds us all together to propagate our shitty species” she say. But even this relationship has its uncomfortable advances that add another undertone of restlessness for her to mull over.
A rather distressing scene early on in the film sets the film’s plot that may actually become the catalyst to her unravelling an escape from believing that life will always be this numb. We start to see flickers of openness and honesty, however odd she seems when casually beginning to overshare with a stranger on the bus, “I haven’t felt like I’ve been alive for a long time”
There were parts of this film that made me frustrated with her character at first; she’s so self-destructive, helpless and showed no care or hope for herself. But watching how delicately producer Peter Mackie Burns, (Milk) captures the reconciliation of Daphne by capturing the small smiles between relationships that were in need of healing or meeting a man that’s genuinely after more than just ‘no-strings’, was beautiful. We witness early stages of self-worth in repair and small shifts in life decisions that even so simple are a really big step to her.
It’s a film rich with emotion and depth and it offers a sense of hope, cleverly balancing pretty dark themes and in an overall mellow movie. I’d absolutely recommend seeing it; the performances are exceptional, award-winning and will absolutely be talked about for a long time to come.
Daphne DVD is released on the 22nd of January, 2018.