I Know You Know (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/04/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 81 mins

Engaging British drama, enlivened by superb performances from Fuller and Carlyle.

What's it all about?
I Know You Know is writer-director Justin Kerrigan's first feature since his 1999 debut feature, Human Traffic. It stars newcomer Arron Fuller as 11-year-old Jamie, who moves to a new flat in a rundown neighbourhood with his unpredictable father, Charlie (Robert Carlyle), and starts going to a new school.

Listening to his stories and watching him in action, Jamie becomes convinced that his father is working undercover for MI6. However, when Charlie starts fixating on a job that will enable them to emigrate to America, Jamie is finally forced to confront the reality of the situation.

The Good
Arron Fuller delivers a naturalistic performance as Jamie that is frequently heartbreaking to watch, particularly during the bullying scenes. Similarly, Carlyle is on fine form as Charlie and even plays him with a hint of a Welsh accent.

There's a rough-edged feel to Kerrigan's direction that works well and heightens the unpredictable nature of Carlyle's performance, since you're never quite sure which crazy tangent he'll go off on next. Similarly, the script works well, layering in several clues before the inevitable revelation scene.

The Bad
This is the kind of film that starts off as one thing and suddenly becomes something else, to the point where you immediately want to see the film again so that you can try and spot the clues. As such, it's an effective illustration of what happens when fantasy spills over into madness and Kerrigan orchestrates some extremely effective scenes.

That said, the end of the film raises several frustratingly unanswered questions, such as where Charlie and Jamie were before the beginning of the film and what exactly happened to Jamie's mother.

Worth seeing?
In short, I Know You Know has a rough-edged charm that works surprisingly well, despite the occasional flaw. Worth seeing, especially for the performances by Carlyle and Fuller.

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Content updated: 26/03/2019 12:13

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