09th Aug2018

‘Journeyman’ DVD Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Paddy Considine, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Popplewell, Tony Pitts, Anthony Welsh | Written and Directed by Paddy Considine

journeyman-dvd

After winning a punishing title defence on points, world middleweight boxing champion Matty Burton (Paddy Considine) collapses. The journey towards regaining his speech, movement and memory will be the toughest fight he’ll ever face, and the prize could not be greater, for his relationship with his wife Emma (Jodie Whittaker) and baby daughter Mia are on the line…

Journeyman is the second feature from famed British actor Paddy Considine, after his highly acclaimed dark brooding character piece in the ever so devastating Tyrannosaur, release six years ago. Considine’s influences are clear, visually he takes much from director Jim Sheridan, aesthetically he implores a significant bout of kitchen sink-esque drama from Ken Loach, but most notably he has absorbed the detrimental thematic role of unsuspecting torturous life that has been crafted in the bleak, albeit delight work of mentor Shane Meadows.

Journeyman isn’t the strongest, nor I imagine will be the most significant defining film in Considine’s growing body of work once it is all said and done in the years to come. It is, however, a harsh and uncompromising film exploring the impacted psyche in the destruction of the livelihood of physicality and freedom. Questioning both belief and hope, which is ever so shattered in the wake of utter tragedy and the following turmoil that wraps its suffocating arms around the main characters. The exploration of identity and family is at the forefront of Considine’s drama and used with eerie, haunting effect. Evoking such moments of pain and duress on screen is hard to shake such feelings off, sat in awe of how far Paddy Considine takes his central character to the brink in such dark moments.

And while Considine’s name is plastered all over, it is without a doubt Jodie Whitaker’s film. An actress that is on the brink of major colossal stardom with her much anticipated turn as the first female Doctor Who, on screens later this year, is fabulous in her portrayal. Her emotional range, ever so stoic and subdued, yet primal and fierce over the devasting hand she’s been dealt with. The sheer depth of delicacy is stunning, resulting in such a downtrodden and traumatising character. But, unfortunately, the film makes certain choices within the story arc in which shes drastically underutilised and ultimately inadvertently villainized, which is clearly not the film’s intention, presumably due to scheduling conflicts with the BBC property stated previously, but does throw off the films central core drastically.

Journeyman is available on DVD and Digital now.

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