Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Kaleidoscope (2017)

"Excellent Grim & Squalid Psycho Thriller Worth Watching Twice"

Toby Jones excels in the unnerving, enigmatic, downbeat beast that is his brother Rupert Jones' KALEIDOSCOPE, coming out on VOD and DVD from Sparky Films.

Carl (Toby Jones) lives in a squalid apartment in a block of flats. He meets a girl, Abby (Sinead Matthews) online and brings her back to the flat after a night out. The morning after there's a broken chair and bloodstains and Carl has only vague memories of what (might have) happened. 

Newspapers report a girl as having been murdered. Abby has disappeared. What has happened to that suitcase Carl used to own? That you could fit body parts neatly into? The arrival of Carl's hated mother, Aileen (Anne Reid) further complicates issues, and what's so important about the kaleidoscope he keeps in a drawer, the one where he hears his father's voice every time he looks through it?

A project that feels like a 1970s British film noir by way of David Lynch (some of the sound design, weird camera angles and 'slips' in reality reminded me of LOST HIGHWAY amongst others) by the time you get to the end of KALEIDOSCOPE you'll be wondering which bits you've seen actually happened, which are hallucination, and how the whole story fits together. 

It's also a pretty grim movie. We hardly leave Carl's horrible flat (and therefore presumably his mind). The interior design and front door don't match what we can see exteriorly, and as the movie progresses things inside the flat change. As to what exactly has happened is left to the viewer to work out. I'll admit that while Rupert Jones is an excellent director stylistically, he probably needs to tighten up his storytelling skills as certainly things could have been made clearer here and there.

Nevertheless, KALEIDOSCOPE is very good. Ambitious, stylish, and with excellent performances all round (and especially Toby Jones), if it's your kind of date movie you'll be talking about it for hours afterwards. Recommended. 

Rupert Jones' KALEIDOSCOPE is out on VOD from Sparky Films on Monday 12th August 2019 and on DVD on Monday September 23rd 2019

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