Saturday, 30 April 2011

"The Living and the Dead" (2006 film)

I admit it.  Within me is a gormless idiot who likes to be scared to death!  In view of this - when I finally get bored rigid with the computer - I watch movies on TV.  Last night was a time of ennui and I settled myself down to watching some movie - I can't even remember its title - on the Horror Channel.  Yawn!  I like high quality dross you see!  So I switched to Horror Channel Plus and came across The Living and the Dead and was awe struck by the genius of it.  If there was ever a film misplaced by genre - this was it!

It is a masterpiece!

Its genres are a mixed bag - placing it under drama, horror, thriller and mystery.  It is these entire plus more.  Its tag is that of 'Terror by good intentions.'  For it to be shown on a horror channel is a travesty of justice.

The Living and the Dead details a period in time of the life of Donald Brocklebank (Roger Lloyd Pack) - a man of aristocratic background living in fear of bankruptcy in a rundown country manor.  His wife, Nancy (Kate Fahy), requires constant care due to a terminal illness.

His son James (Leo Bill) is schizophrenic and also requires constant care.  James is overprotected by his family leading to an exacerbation of symptoms (and I know this to be true as some with mental illness overprotected by families experience serious personality damage and now reside in our home) but is intent on proving himself as 'the man of the house' during his fathers absence.

The Living and the Dead presents a vision of the nightmare of mental illness.  I implore all those who have an interest in mental ill-health to watch this disturbing jewel.  You may see a preview here - but it gives you nothing!  If you read the reviews - ignore the Neanderthals speaking of 'retards' and seeking blood and gore.

It is a gut wrenching masterpiece!  It is wonderfully awful in its honesty.  Okay if you watch it, you may think that there are gaping plot holes - and perhaps there are - but buy it, watch it, for if you don't - you can never truly understand the devastating effects of mental illness on those who suffer it and its effects on family members.

Images courtesy of Quiet Earth  I recommend you 'click' on Quiet Earth as it gives an excellent review.

Anna :o]


Frances Garrood said...

Might order it from Love Film (tho' horror isn't my usual genre). Thanks, Anna!

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Hi Frances.

It is not a horror film - that was the whole point of the post. It was misplaced.

It is a frightenly honest film regarding mental ill-health - especially the devasting effects of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia varies in its intensity and some folk are able to tolerate it, live with it and lead a productive life. Others are devastated by it and suffer extreme personality damage.

The film focussed on the latter (and the sufferers over-protection) and the resulting horror of James's attempt to be perceived as 'normal'.

It should not have been on a 'horror channel' but on mainstream TV for all to view and hopefully gain a little understanding.

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

I think we all have that gormless idiot inside us. I wonder what evolutionary advantage that bestowed upon us... Great post.

Frances Garrood said...

Sorry, Anna. My mistake. My cousin was a schizophrenic, and took his own life in his twenties. It's a dreadful condition, isn't it. Will definitley order the film.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Dave. I wonder too! I like the gormless idiot in me - it allows me to do stupid things that are sometimes fun and sometimes just stupid!

Frances. No problem my friend! I have added a recommendation that (you) click 'Quiet Earth' as it gives a rave review.

So sorry to hear about your cousin - schizophrenie can indeed be very damaging.

Anna :o]

chip barm said...

Who says James has Schizophrenia? Rumley on his site says he is 'mentally challenged' and in the film he comes across more as a kid with learning difficulties/ADHD than a schizophrenic character.