Run (4 stars)

Run

Scott Graham is at the helm of an atmospheric exploration of masculinity in crisis, starring a superb Mark Stanley

Writer-director Scott Graham (Iona, Shell) works in the dark corners of the Scottish psyche. His films are marked by a sense of isolation and repression that can crush the soul. Taking inspiration from the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen, his third feature Run is a sombre, tightly-edited exploration of masculinity in crisis. Stronger on atmosphere than story, it gains weight as it edges towards a rare moment of hope.

Finnie (Mark Stanley) works in a Fraserburgh fish factory, scrubbing his skin red raw to take away the stink of the job and his sense of failure. Dour and uncommunicative, the bitter disappointment has infected him like a fever. His position is only made worse by the presence of his son Kid (Anders Hayward). Kid is an angry, resentful young man who has lost his job and pushed away the love of his pregnant girlfriend Kelly (Marli Siu). Finnie may feel jealous of his son but there is no escape from a sense of history repeating.

Beautifully shot by Simon Tindall, Run offers a plaintive portrait of a dead-end town of boarded-up shops, where boy racers speed through the night streets to combat their boredom. Unfolding mostly after dark, the film makes soulful capital of tar-black seas and waves that crash against the harbour wall.

It is a place that encourages flight and Finnie's brief, heady resolve to just keep driving onwards is a tipping point in finding a way forward for him and eternally cheerful wife Katie (Amy Manson) who claims to have 'run out of ways to help him'. Stanley heads an impressive cast, effectively conveying the agonies of a man whose unexpressed feelings have become a prison. That rare moment of hope at the end feels like a ray of sunshine after a long, bleak winter.

Limited release from Fri 13 Mar.

Run

  • 4 stars
  • 2019
  • UK
  • 1h 18min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Scott Graham
  • Cast: Mark Stanley, Amy Mason, Marli Siu
  • UK release: 13 March 2020

Finnie (Stanley) works in a Fraserburgh fish factory, dealing with his son Kid (Hayward) who is angry and resentful and combats boredom by night-time racing. A sombre, tightly-edited exploration of masculinity in crisis, stronger on atmosphere than on story but building to a rare moment of hope.

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