Ollie Kepler's Expanding Purple World (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byJennifer Tate15/02/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World is an enjoyable and emotionally engaging film with a strong narrative, charming performances and an important message about mental illness to communicate.

What’s it all about?
Written and directed by Viv Fongenie, Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World stars Edward Hogg as Ollie Kepler, a thirty-something web designer with a deep passion for astronomy. When his fiancée Noreen (Jodie Whittaker) dies suddenly, Ollie plunges into a deep depression and at the insistence of his friends, moves in with his best friend Tom (Andrew Knott) in a bid to recover from his mental collapse. However, a broken promise that he once made to Noreen increasingly comes back to haunt him and in a battle for redemption, Ollie becomes more and more obsessed with the notion that his knowledge in astrophysics holds the answer to his recovery.

The Good
Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World is a stimulating and enjoyable film with a commendable performance by Edward Hogg, who plays Ollie with a great awareness and compassion. The supporting cast is also notable, each delivering humble and convincing performances, which provide the film with a strong backbone. Jodie Whittaker, in particular, is excellent as Ollie’s fiancée, offering her character a vital sense of realism in her short screen time, as well as sharing a believable onscreen chemistry with Hogg. In that respect, it’s a shame Whittaker doesn’t garner more screen time.

In his second feature (his first was almost 15 years ago), Viv Fongenie also proves his ability to write and direct a thought-provoking and layered film and his script is subtle, yet profound.

The Equally Good
What’s great about Ollie Kepler’s tackling of mental illness is that it never patronises it or takes advantage of its connotations. Instead, the serious subject is dealt with sensitively and the film successfully communicates the important message that mental illness can unexpectedly affect anyone. As Ollie grows increasingly isolated and obsessed with his tormenting nightmares and voices in his head, it’s easy to empathise with his feelings and in that respect, Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World is rather engaging emotionally.

Worth seeing?
With its profound and poignant message, Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World is an emotional and balanced film that’s easy to swallow and appreciate. Recommended.

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Ollie Kepler's Expanding Purple World (15)
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Content updated: 23/11/2017 12:44

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