Gypo (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/10/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Structurally ambitious, superbly acted film that remains enjoyable, even if some of its more audacious elements don't quite come off.

What's it all about?
Set in Margate, Gypo stars Pauline McLynn as Helen, an unhappily married woman who's fed up of looking after her teenage daughter's baby and cooking for her uncommunicative husband, Paul (Paul McGann). When she befriends an attractive Czech refugee named Tasha (Chloe Sirene) and her mother (Rula Lenska), their relationship has some decidedly unexpected consequences.

The Good
This is one of those films that tells the same story from three different points of view (first Helen's, then Paul's, then Tasha's) and it's clear that each character remembers events slightly differently, Rashomon-style. Basically, if you're going to do this type of film, then the revelations in the second and third segments really have to pay off and with Gypo, they both do and they don't, but the film keeps you watching because of the intriguing differences in the way the characters remember the events.

Jan Dunn displays an impressive directorial style although it's odd to see a film adhering to the Dogme principles several years after everyone else has forgotten all about them.

The Great
The film is brilliantly acted by everyone except Tamzin Dunstone (playing Helen's daughter), who screams her lines like she's learnt them phonetically and doesn't understand them. McLynn, in particular, is fantastic, whilst Serene (who's actually English) is something of a revelation.

In addition, there's a subtle cheekiness to some of the revelations which works well and the film credits its audience with enough intelligence to work out some important plot details for themselves. It also has perhaps the most surprising love scene in recent history.

Worth seeing?
This is a thoroughly enjoyable, frequently moving film with an intriguingly complex structure. It also makes some thought-provoking points regarding society's attitude to asylum-seekers. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 22/07/2018 23:25

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