Friday, March 17, 2006


Title: Frozen
Cast: Shirley Henderson, Richard Armitage, George Costigan, Sean Harris, Natalie Henderson
Director: Juliet McKoen

Kath (Shirley Henderson) is a woman obsessed, her sister went missing one night, and she has been searching for her ever since. In the two years since she went missing Kath has become Frozen, exiting in a kind of limbo, with no trace and no explanation she can’t move on. Kath is in grief counselling with her local priest, but when she steals a videotape from the police of her sister’s last known movements, she becomes fixated on the hope that it provides her.

Frozen is an odd film. It mixes some striking visuals with a degree of magic realism. The video is of CCTV footage showing Kath’s sister, between one camera and the next the sister vanishes, each time Kath stands in front of the camera she steps into a vision. The idea of a CCTV camera that affects reality is something that one would perhaps expect to find in novels by Haurki Murakami or Russell Hoban. The visions themselves have a certain mythical reference – a blind folded boat man carrying people across a stretch of water to elysian fields – myth given contemporary feel.

Frozen’s big problem is just how seriously it takes itself. Some of the character interaction becomes melodramatic farce, the kind of thing British films often seem to fall into, without the slightest whiff of any hint of humour in the process. Showing in a mainstream cinema, with a reasonable turnout, there was a good number of people that walked out, while increasingly those that remained could not help but laugh at the increasing ridiculousness. Which is a pity, there are some particularly nice things about Frozen and despite its flaws it certainly has a potential.

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