Tag Archives: Ben Whishaw

Surge (Aneil Karia, 2020)

Since early notices following its world premiere at Sundance 2020, Surge – the first feature from director Aneil Karia – has been labelled a British equivalent to Falling Down, Joel Schumacher’s 1993 thriller in which a disgruntled guy violently lashes out against “society”.

It’s not a totally unfair comparison, particularly given that the bulk of the breakdown narratives and crime sprees in both films take place over the course of a single day. But there are some crucial differences. Surge isn’t an especially reactionary work in terms of signposting dialogue, and the criminal activities it concerns are robberies and street beatings rather than a murderous rampage. Most crucially, Falling Down is built around Michael Douglas, who had established form in playing men prone to psychotic outbursts.

That’s not the case for the star of Surge, Ben Whishaw, who Karia previously directed in the 2013 short Beat. Whishaw’s breakthrough leading role was admittedly as an olfactorily-driven killer in 2006’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, but the star persona he has developed since has tended to concern reserved or even overwhelmingly polite individuals, one of them a friendly little bear in a duffel coat. Taking place in an altogether harsher version of London, Surge is in fact the anti-Paddington

Full review for Little White Lies

Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)

The latest James Bond film, Spectre, is named for its revival of the sinister SPECTRE organisation, the group behind the source of much of the world’s woes in the series’ earlier entries. That is the objectively true reasoning behind the film’s title. Upon viewing Sam Mendes’ second Bond outing, however, the title takes on a different layer. Spectre is an appropriate title because there’s only a glimmer of a pulse in the film’s 148 minutes…

Full review for Vague Visages