Entertaining yarn, with a superb performance from Ed Jones
Elenya (Delafouge Jones) is a girl of Italian descent living during WWII in a backwards village in deepest, darkest Wales. Tormented by her school friends and neglected by her parents, Elenya is an outcast and she regresses in to a self-enforced state of social exclusion. However, during a solitary walk in the welsh countryside, she stumbles upon a downed German Airman (Behrendt) whom she helps and befriends. Gough's film starts slowly and the retrospective narration offered by the elderly Elenya adds nothing to the film. However, where the film truely shows its depth and strength is in the relationship between Elenya and her school friends. Wyn Jones is unconvincing as Elenya's sole friend (also made a social Pariah due to his terrible weight problem), but newcomer Edward Jones (criminally uncredited above) is sensational as the archetypal school bully. Jones shows the ferocity of a Joe Pesci, the aimlessness of a mean streets De Niro and the sex appeal of a pre-fight Mickey Rourke, and steals the show away from under the noses of Delafouge and Wyn Jones. If he can overcome the hindrances of his physical deformities, I believe Jones could have a great future in motion pictures. Behrendt is adequate as the German airman, and Gough deals with the relationship between the helpless airman and the young girl sensitively and with finesse. In the event however, he shys away from developing the sexual tension between the two to any more than a vague sideline, and their is no nudity of any kind in the film; a definite zero on the nork-ometer. Elenya is a good example of what is wrong with Welsh cinema: it's not very good. My rating: ********************** 22 stars (worth a look)
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