Sunday 12th October, 3.45pm – Curzon Soho
Wednesday 15th October, 9pm – Rich Mix
Saturday 18th October, 8.45pm – BFI Southbank, NFT2
Written and directed by Simon Baker, Night Bus is a fantastically honest slice of London life – bitterly melancholy and full of humour at the same time. Taking place entirely on and around an iconic red London night bus, the film dips in and out of different people’s conversations, interactions and phone calls, including the driver himself and the people at various bus stops along the route.
Anyone who has ever taken public transport (whether it was a bus or any other form) will identify with the people in Night Bus; irritation at raucous passengers, eavesdropping on someone’s phone conversation and seeing the sleeping guy in the corner wake up in a sudden jolt will all be familiar to many viewers. This particular bus journey sees glimpses into brand new relationships and tired old ones, arguments and laughter, happy people on their way out for the night and tired people on their way home. And in a similar manner to actually travelling on public transport, it leaves you with the sense of wondering what will happen to these people after you get off the bus and the film ends.
Night Bus balances the many differing types of interactions well – never seeming too cheery or gloomy, it has a more realistic edge to it than some of the more fairytale endings of big blockbuster movies. The brilliant performances of the entire cast make you forget that you are watching fiction; you could be fooled into thinking these were real people filmed on hidden cameras instead of actors performing a script. The genuine feel of Night Bus is what makes it successful. Like life itself, it’s neither inherently positive nor negative, and is instead an honest representation of the ups and downs of people’s lives.
The film does get a little repetitive towards the end, but that’s only down to the film’s style of switching between various conversations, and not down to the actual content. The excellent writing covers topics that everyone will relate to in some manner, such as loneliness, relationships of all kinds, happiness, careers and of course, drunken singing. What could have been an idea that fell at the first hurdle, Night Bus is a love letter to London itself, successfully cataloguing the lows as well as the highs in a frank and authentic manner.
Night Bus release date is yet to be announced.
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Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Night Bus here: