DVD REVIEW: BEYOND / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JOSEPH BAKER, TOM LARGE / SCREENPLAY: JOSEPH BAKER, TOM LARGE / STARRING: RICHARD J. DANUM, GILLIAN MACGREGOR, PAUL BRANNIGAN, KRISTIAN HART / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 12TH, 2015
Filmed and set in Scotland, Beyond, along with Monsters and The Battery, is part of a growing number of understated indie films which put the emphasis on character rather than circumstance. Written and directed by creative duo Joseph Baker and Tom Large, Beyond is a low budget treat continuing in the Great British indie tradition.
Set across two time periods, the first three years are set before an extinction level asteroid collides with the earth, whilst the second part is after aliens have decimated the planets population and, like District 9, their ship hovers in the sky. The move from each time is marked by a severe tonal shift, both in shots, style and effects, which can be jarring given the quality of the post-apocalyptic scenes.
After a frankly poorly scripted armed robbery, Cole (Danum) meets Maya (MacGregor). Their relationship mirroring the asteroids rapid trajectory, in the face of annihilation Maya gets pregnant, giving birth when the asteroid is only hours away from collision. In the second time zone, Cole and Maya are cold, starving, and barely holding their broken relationship together. Driven only be a desire to find their baby, the couple move by day and find shelter from the aliens at night.
As with Jonathan Glazer’s introspective Under the Skin, Baker and Large capture the haunting vastness of Scotland; its otherness. The dreadful indie folk soundtrack lets the film down, though the repeating score packs a punch.
Gillian MacGregor is a powerful and distinctive actress with oodles of screen presence, while Danum is more modest in comparison. The pair do play off one another, and their believable portrayal of a relationship, in all its stages, it strangely captivating.
Given the complex, metaphysical script, there’s plenty of different ways to interpret the film, especially its ending. Leaving spoilers at the door, you’re going to file it away under different genres depending on how you interpret it. Whether its sci-fi or a psychological drama is up to you.
Special Features: Trailer
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