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A married couple moves back to its childhood village to start a family, but a surprise visit from the husband's brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes lies embedded in the couple's relationship.Written by
Another brilliant performance by Benedict Cumberbatch
"Wreckers" is a small, odd movie, the type of film that Benedict Cumberbatch made before films like Star Trek Into Darkness, War Horse, etc., came-a-calling.
The film stars Claire Foy as Dawn and Cumberbatch as David, a young couple who return to where David grew up in order to start a family. They are both teachers and have a cottage on the edge of the woods; they seem very much in love. Then David's brother Nick (Shaun Evans) arrives. Nick has been in the service and is suffering from terrible PTSD. He sleepwalks, he has screaming nightmares, he breaks everything in sight, he leaves the door to the hen house open so the family dog can kill the chicken. He's disruptive. Though Dawn suggests that he talk to someone, no one pushes the issues, makes it a condition of him staying in the house, or gets him to a hospital.
Nick's arrival brings up some other issues. Dawn was unaware that her husband grew up in a violent home; she probably was also unaware that he came from the working class, as he's fashioned himself into a well-spoken teacher. As time goes on, she finds out David wasn't honest about something else, which makes her question who was responsible for what regarding the boys' behavior growing up, as both men tell her something different.
I had some big problems with this film. First of all, I use closed captioning -- occupational hazard, I did transcription for many years and it did a number on my hearing. I have to say the person who transcribed the dialogue of "Wreckers," if possible, has worse hearing than mine. On the worst day of my life I knew more of what was being said than the captioner.
Secondly, the film was done in a way that I refer to as "precious." Long, long pauses where people say nothing. Also, many of the scenes, including a critical one at the end, were done in pitch blackness. PITCH. I was staring at a BLACK screen. My last problem with the film is that had I been Dawn, I wouldn't have stood for Nick being in my house for one night, let alone as many as he seems to have been there.
All that aside, the performances are excellent. I am an unabashed and unashamed fan of Cumberbatch and here, he is top-notch. One absolutely has no idea what is true about his character and what isn't, as he plays against what we're told or what we see time and again. He creates a fascinating, multilayered character.
The end of this film is deliberately ambiguous -- actually it was a little too ambiguous for me.
"Wreckers" is a story about re-invention, the lies one tells to one's self, and therefore to others, and the dark side of human nature. In the end, we don't know the answer to one very important question about one of the characters; and we don't know what the future will bring. But I think on that last point, we can guess.
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