Break My Fall (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/07/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Break My Fall has a terrific soundtrack and a handful of impressively intense scenes but it's ultimately let down by an irritating lead character, some dodgy acting, a frustrating, frequently dull plot and an unconvincing finale.

What's it all about?
Directed by Kanchi Wichmann, Break My Fall is set in happening East London and stars Kat Redstone as boyish lesbian songwriter/musician Liza, whose live-in relationship with girly Sally (Sophie Anderson) is slowly crumbling, partly because obsessively jealous Liza thinks Sally is still in love with her successful musician ex-girlfriend, despite the fact that she's moved to Germany. Unable to talk to each other, Liza confides in her gay friend Jamie (Collin Clay Chace), while Sally grows closer to her rentboy friend Vin (Kai Brandon Ly).

The Good
Wichmann does a good job of depicting the day-to-day lives of Hackney hipsters, though she slightly overdoes the number of drug-taking/vomiting/going to the toilet scenes; as a result it's unusual to see a film with the characters doing so many drugs without any apparent consequences – more cocaine is consumed here than in any number of British gangster movies. That said, she also pulls off a handful of impressively intense scenes, in particular an extended, non-gratuitous lesbian sex sequence between the two leads and a tense scene in a nightclub.

On top of that, there's a terrific soundtrack drawn from (presumably) hip and happening London groups, while Liza's band are also pretty decent.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that Liza isn't a particularly likeable character (her first act in the film is to petulantly throw Sally's laptop off the roof), so it's hard to care about whether or not their relationship works out. Redstone's acting is also fairly dodgy in places (most notably during an excruciating cafe confrontation), despite the fact that she basically spends the entire film in a strop.

On top of that, although the film's rough edges and low budget give it a certain charm, it also leads to some unforgiveable and overly distracting mistakes, such as an extended scene where the shadow of the sound boom and microphone are clearly visible on the wall next to the characters. In addition, there's very little actual plot and the action is frequently dull, while the ending is both irritating and unconvincing.

Worth seeing?
Break My Fall has its moments but it fails to engage on an emotional level thanks to its infuriating lead character.

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Content updated: 17/12/2017 11:56

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