Bait

  • 15

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This abrasive seaside parable is a quietly thrilling piece of filmmaking. Cornish writer-director Mark Jenkin has conjured up something truly arresting: a debut film rooted in local traditions, with a dark humour and an atmosphere thats as brooding as its Atlantic backdrop.Its central character is scowling Cornish fisherman Martin. Hes a fundamentally good-hearted man who nurses a bundle of unexpressed grudges over the flood of new money into his fishing village. His equally gruff brother uses their dads old trawler to take tourists on pleasure cruises, while the familys quayside home has been sold to the kind of well-heeled urbanites Martin so resents. To add insult to injury, theyve installed a porthole.Bait is a story of gentrification and class friction that builds and builds, But it has deeper currents too, as Jenkin explores the day-to-day slog of maintaining a generations-old way of life and the near-spiritual pain of being prised, like a barnacle off a rock, from your place in life by forces beyond your control. As visually distinctive as it is narratively satisfying, Bait is a thrillingly original and uniquely enriching drama.

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