Sunday 29th May 2016

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The Ones Below

A strangely impelling film and enjoyable with Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) are expecting their first baby. They are thirty-something, successful and affluent. All appears well on the surface but Kate harbours deeply rooted fears about her fitness to be a mother and her ability to love the child within. One day another couple, Jon (David Morrissey) and Teresa (Laura Birn) move in to the apartment below. They become ‘The Ones Below’ and are also expecting a baby. In contrast to Kate, Teresa is full of joy at the prospect of imminent motherhood. Pregnancy brings the women together in shared confidences, as Kate becomes entranced by Teresa’s unquestioning celebration of her family-to-be. Until one night a joint dinner begins to reveal all is not as it seems with ‘The Ones Below’ and a single tragic accident throws the couples into a nightmare of psychological terror.

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But then, there’s a feeling that everything about the couple downstairs is slightly off and fantastical. Morrissey is fearsomely aggressive, blunt and narrow in focus, leaning his head in as if inspecting prey, his glaringly bright jumpers like a wasp’s danger-signalling stripes. He and Theresa fascinate for being predatory neurotics, not simple psychos. What sticks in the head is what isn’t explained, in Theresa especially, with her Finnish hippie family background and social ease Kate envies, and her secret drinking at dinner and fearful looks of strain, as if her marriage is secretly monstrous.

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Yes Morrissey has a strong control over his wife and she appears terrified of him. There are the touches of everything plastic and bright colours shown with the artificial flowers and lawn and everything in their apartment fixed in  what appears to be a sterile environment. Its all very blue and yellow and the leaving of shoes outside the doors shows very tight controlled life.

When Teresa throws the cat into the canal and walks away to end up in Germany with the baby in yet again the same decorated home its very strange. But surely the canal would have been dredged and the cat bundle found not to be the baby? Then the truth would out and they would hunt the couple down and find out the truth.

 

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