Anyone who’s ever stalled their car may well find a familiar feeling in watching Second Coming. The film starts off slowly, and never really manages to make up for lost ground, stuttering across the finish line.
Second Coming follows a middle-class family based in London over the course of a year, as they navigate their way through various problems in their family life amongst an unexplained pregnancy. Mother and wife Jackie (Nadine Marshall) discovers she is pregnant; unable to tell her husband Mark (Idris Elba) because she is unsure how the baby was conceived, she begins to question her mental wellbeing. Their young son JJ (Kai Francis Lewis) is caught in the middle of a battle as Mark and Jackie’s relationship is strained to breaking point.
Second Coming is an interesting watch, showing some humanitarian insight into the life of a typical family. There are elements of humour, poignancy, and an artistic flair to the feature. Overall it is a stellar performance from Idris Elba, with some fantastic acting from Nadine Marshall and young Kai Francis Lewis. It is a very poetic film, and well-executed by the cast and crew with some moments of magical-realism, and a very soulful approach. The dialogue is good and even the vernacular is well-written and performed, the characters develop well and the piece achieves its task in showing insight into the everyday life of a troubled family. However, Second Coming also leaves many questions unanswered, skipping vital pieces of information and often jumping from scene to scene with no real direction or meaning. Many audience members would find themselves confused for large portions of the film if not for a synopsis. The movie tries to be too subtle with its exposure of the plot, which often makes for difficult viewing, and moves too quickly for viewers to really connect with the characters.
The film does have great elements of art-house cinema, and some great acting and very tender and otherwise emotional moments. It is testament to the fact a bad film can be taken from a good script, but a good film can’t be taken from a bad one. The writing here feels tactful and although it attempts to be poignant, it comes up short, never really connecting with the audience as it should. Second Coming is certainly interesting, and a decent transition from playwright to screenwriter/director for Debbie Tucker Green: she is likely to do great things for cinema, this just isn’t one of them.
Second Coming is released nationwide on 5th June 2015
Watch the trailer for Second Coming here: