Take a Drink: for substance use/abuse
Take a Drink: for highways
Take a Drink: for every near escape
Take a Drink: for unfamiliar across the pond slang (Brits- guess what confuses the rest of us)
Do a Shot: for the bathroom
Do a Shot: “Chum Chum”
By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
The new generation of British independent really only has one setting- miserabilism. You won’t find many smiles and not a whiff of uplift in anything from Andrea Arnold, Paddy Considine, Clio Barnard, or Ken Loach (not in any of his good stuff, anyway).
If this is the alternative, I’m all for it.
Catch Me Daddy fits firmly in that miserabilist genre, as a young Pakistani-English girl hangs out in a dead end town of trailer parks and grey highways until a group of dangerous-looking men set her running. Daddy’s not playing any games.
Like its genre brethren, Catch Me Daddy boasts plenty of impeccably framed and shot imagery courtesy of music video vet and first time feature director Daniel Wolfe and the severely underrated DP Robbie Ryan.
You might know them from this gem.
The rest of the technical details of the film are also top-notch, from Wolfe’s unsurprising deft handling of music both diagetic (Nicky Minaj) and non- (Daniel Thomas Freeman and Matthew Watson’s excellent score) and his lack of fear of using silence to communicate so much more than a hand-holding score ever could. The result is a truly intense thriller that is likely to shock at points no matter how deep your knowledge of film grammar.
What Wolfe is missing is a story and characters. It takes awhile for you to parse the plot even if you can parse the accents, and then when you do, it’s as straight as an arrow. The acting isn’t bad, but no real effort is taken to develop the characters, or the audience’s empathy for them.
As quality as the imagery is, it’s almost exclusively either night-set or shot under impassive, heavily overcast grey skies.
Not that this isn’t an accurate representation of central England…
It’s not just the skies that are miserable, as even ostensibly joyful moments early in the film are overwhelmed by a hard to place sense of doom. Lest you draw any positive conclusions about the craftsmanship that goes into making that happen, just wait for the end, which, A) doesn’t deviate at all from the miserable road the film turns on after we realize what the plot is supposed to be, and B) slams its brakes at the logical dead end it arrives at in such a sudden and overwrought manner that you can’t help but laugh.
Chum Chum indeed…
Catch Me Daddy is a very proficiently made but thinly written tale of woe that doesn’t even struggle to find a point.