London Film Festival 2012 – day two: Kelly & Victor
Sunday 14th October, 9pm – Screen on the Green, Angel
Tuesday 16th October, 9pm – Odeon, West End
Saturday 20th October, 6.15pm – Hackney PictureHouse
An adaptation of Nial Griffiths’s novel, which bears the same title, Kelly & Victor tells the story of a couple as they embark on a journey of young romance, passion and an untimely obsession with sadomasochism. Director Kieran Evans (Finisterre, Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before) takes the helm in a tale of teenage love and the fetish culture that has only risen in popularity in a modern society rife with sexual liberty and exploration.
Aptly set in culture capital Liverpool, we are introduced to Kelly (Lead Balloon’s Antonia Campbell-Hughes); a shy individual, who one night meets the confident, suave Victor (Julian Morris). Following a night of indescribable passion between the pair, both suddenly develop a passion for sexual pain. During every session, Kelly strangles Victor as they make love. The sudden lack of oxygen excites Victor and so an unhealthy obsession forms, leading to the couple becoming more and more adventurous as their relationship develops.
Friends of both Kelly and Victor provide a strong supporting cast, but the film’s narrative ultimately lies with the pair as they both slowly discover their somewhat ‘unhealthy’ obsessions. Being a fan of BBC comedy Lead Balloon, it was refreshing to see Campbell-Hughes taking on such a challenging lead role in this incredibly intimate production. Overlooking her questionable scouse accent, she delivers a solid and believable performance. However, the reason why she enjoys these sexual encounters is never fully explored which is disappointing.
Kelly and Victor carries a beautifully chosen soundtrack to accompany some wonderful cinematography of Liverpool. Filmed on location in and around the docks, the bleak surroundings echo the feelings that both protagonists share. Readers of the novel would know that, like many stories of this nature, this does not have a happy ending and sometimes is in danger of being a little too depressing. Having said that, this portrayal of young love holds nothing back and illustrates the wonderful talent that both leads share.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.
Tickets are available from the official BFI London Film Festival website.