Director: Benedict Andrews
Cast: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Ruby Stokes, Riz Ahmed, Tobias Menzies
Country of Origin: UK-USA-Canada 2016 94 mins. (15)
Released by Thunderbird Releasing
Booze and casual sex are part of Una's (Rooney Mara) life. There's no other way for her to connect. The memories remain, like a raw wound. Ray (Ben Mendelsohn), a family friend sexually abused 13-year-old Una fifteen years ago. Una was in love, she'd given her heart to Ray and he'd declared his love for her. And now Una has found Ray, a warehouse sub-manager, now called Peter. The camera brilliantly captures the moment when they meet in Ray's workplace. Visibly shaken and defensive, Ray asks - 'What do you want? 'To see you.' is Una's reply. Their story's seen in flashback. 13-year-old Una, brilliantly played by Ruby Stokes was in love. They go away together but Una suddenly finds herself alone. The court case sees a bewildered and grief stricken Una on closed circuit TV. 'Why did you leave me' ? Where did you go'? There's shared history and the attraction's still there but now Una will manipulate Ray. How can she shed the past? Is Ray a monster or a victim? 'I'm not one of them.'
Benedict Andrews has extended David Harrower's two-hander stage play 'Blackbird' to include a subplot and other characters - Ray's wife (Natasha Little) Scott (Riz Ahmed) Ray's friend and workmate and his boss (Tobias Menzies). Rooney Mara is terrific and Ruby Stokes is a revelation, but there's a nagging feeling that it doesn't quite hang together. It's never easy to translate a stage play to the big screen but that said, don't miss it.