“I can’t live like this no more. I can’t do it. I’ve had enough.”
‘Trespass Against Us’ isn’t a big, in-your-face kind of movie. It’s smaller than that, it’s more intricate and thoughtful than expected; a rather sympathetic look at a family of travellers, or more specifically one branch of it who are desperately trying to break away from the father tree. Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is heir apparent to his father Colby’s (Gleeson) ‘legacy’. Colby is much-feared by many, possessing the strong & assured authority of a man who can, and does, make his tribe believe Earth is flat. As a semi-illiterate married father-of-two Chad wants more for his wife & two young children, particularly his six year-old son who is his grandfather’s most loyal of followers. Now is the time for Chad to stand up to his father, but can he do it?
This internal and external battle dominates the film as it explores the nature of father-son, and grandfather-father-son, relationships. As Chad starts to test the waters of life away from his father it seems like everything is fated to keep him trapped next to his great white shark of a father. These various tensions provide the film with some of its best moments, and some of its weakest. Overall the concept isn’t explored to its fullest and is somewhat dissatisfying as a result. Some questions and concepts are raised but scarcely answered. The central patriarchal leads are magnetic to watch, when together their chemistry crackles, but whilst their bond is tested it doesn’t push them as far as they could have been
The film is rather inconsistent but there are hints of brilliance – this, his feature film debut, definitely marks Adam Smith a director to watch. Whilst too reliant on its excellent cast it’s a pacy drama with just enough comedy and meat to make it worth a watch.
‘Trespass Against Us’ opened in UK cinemas on 3rd March.
Year: 2017 Runtime:99 minutes Dir: Adam Smith