Confine is a tense psychological drama from British director Tobias Tobbell. Tobbell’s previous experience in short films is more than evident in the slick handling of this feature length offering. With a small budget to contend with Tobbell has utilised the confined surroundings of a single apartment to create a contained setting. Using tracking shots and a brilliantly styled background he creates an air of sophistication and elegance in what could otherwise have been a slightly underwhelming film.
The basic premise sees Pippa (Daisy Lowe), a former model with facial and psychological scarring, trapped in her apartment by her own agoraphobia and then latterly by a psychotic burglar, Kayleigh (Eliza Bennet). Lowe gives a pretty average performance, but the script really requires very little of her, while Bennet has moments of intensity the majority of the performances leave much to be desired. Even so the plot, with its intriguing slow reveal of information, and the backdrop to the film, Pippa’s vintage inspired, OCD fuelled apartment are entertaining enough to carry the audience along for less than an hour and a half. While the performances rather lack the emotion that would usually power an intense hostage drama, the use of the apartment as a cage for the audience as well as the characters is interesting. While Pippa and Kayliegh occasionally peer out of windows the audience remains within the confines of the room, a device which very cleverly increases our insecurity about what is really happening within the little world Tobbell has created.
Confine really has the feel of a play; the dialogue is perhaps more suited to a play than a film and the scarcity of actors (and different backdrops) also feels like a stage production. Perhaps with a few tweaks to the script and we could see a great stage play.
Tobbell really excelled at drawing the best out of his own script with the great cinematography, but Confine really only shows that Tobbell himself is one to watch. Given better actors this British director really has the opportunity to create some beautiful films.
By Charlotte Keeys, Jackanory Reviews follow her on Twitter: @jackanoryreview.