Many a film has been dubbed the anti-500 Days of Summer, but none has been so deserving as the tale of a torrid love affair that is Kelly + Victor. Based on the 2002 Naill Griffiths novel of the same name Kelly + Victor is the dark cousin of the romantic comedy, when Kelly and Victor meet in a club in Liverpool the attraction is instant but neither of them could anticipate the twisted path their relationship would take.
With a thoroughly unsentimental take on new love British director Kieran Evans is able to create a relationship that is both real and bizarrely twisted. When Kelly unlocks a sexual dark side in Victor neither of them is able to leave the other and while their relationship falters and recovers in waves throughout the 90-minute film there is never a doubt about their ultimate compatibility.
It is not only their relationship that is portrayed in a refreshingly down-to-earth way; the characters that surround the couple are instantly recognisable as real, familiar personalities. Despite the extreme actions taken by some of the supporting characters the brilliant direction and dialogue ground Kelly + Victor very much in the real world.
Amanda Campbell-Hughes (Kelly) and Julian Morris (Victor) are masterfully understated, drawing out the awkward realism in Griffiths’ characters. The whole film is brilliantly understated, the lack of noise and fuss only serving to height the already overpowering emotion that pervades Kelly + Victor.
With the almost obligatory inclusion of a record player in an Indie taken care of towards the beginning of the film, the soundtrack is left to its own devices with tracks from the likes of King Creosote & John Hopkins, Wild Beasts and Viking Mosses setting the tone for the brilliantly dark, British romance.
DVD released: 13th January 2014
Charlotte Keeys, @jackanoryreview