|Film review: Flying Blind|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:05|
Director: Katarzyna Klimkiewicz
Is there a British actress more underappreciated than Helen McCrory? The actress, who has impressed in everything from The Queen and Dr. Who to Harry Potter, makes a strong case with Flying Blind, the tale of a middle-aged aerospace engineer falling for an Algerian student.
A politically-charged romantic drama? An erotically-charged political drama? Either way, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s debut feature is charged with something. And it’s enough to make an impression.
Frankie only cares about her career, but that soon changes when Kahil (Oudghiri) sweeps her off her feet with an out-of-date textbook and a willingness to take his clothes off. Falling head over wind machine with the exotic boy, they do a lot of that. Taking clothes off. But where things could descend into graphic naughtiness, Klimkiewicz keeps things balanced with more than a hint of social debate.
“What do you do?” Frankie asks one of Kahil’s friends. “This and that.” “Keeping it vague,” she replies. “I prefer… mysterious.”
That ambiguity surrounds Kahil’s life, from his occupation to his political beliefs. It’s enough to concern Frankie’s military employers and her father, turning the story of girl meets boy into an examination of the relationship between white and Muslim in a post-9/11 world.
Deliberately avoiding an answer, Flying Blind’s script errs on the unsubtle side, while Frankie’s lack of questions for her suitor occasionally tests the imagination, but the film is most effective when simply spending time with its engaging couple: Frankie awkwardly sitting at a dinner table while Kahil talks to someone in another language; her arriving home to find another man in her kitchen.
Throughout, McCrory’s presence is absorbing, complemented by the charming Oudghiri. Their chemistry makes the sex scenes seem natural and, even when the political discussions intrude in the second half, produces a provocative little drama that, like its wonderful leading lady, could easily be underappreciated.
Where is Flying Blind showing in the UK?
Thanks to the awesome New British Cinema Quarterly initiative, Flying Blind is touring the UK over the next couple of months. Which means you can see Flying Blind in the following UK cinemas:
Thursday 11th April – Barbican, London (Additional screenings 12th – 18th April)
Saturday 13th April - Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Sunday 14th April – Watershed, Bristol (Additional screenings 12th – 18th April)
Tuesday 16th April - Greenwich Picturehouse
Wednesday 17th April - York Picturehouse
Saturday 20th April - Cambridge Picturehouse
Monday 22nd April - Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton
Tuesday 23rd April - Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford
Wednesday 24th April, Hackney Picturehouse, London
Thursday 25th April – Nottingham Broadway (Additional screenings 26th April – 2nd May)
Friday 26th April – Sheffield Showroom
Saturday 27th April – Edinburgh Filmhouse
Sunday 28th April – Glasgow Film Theatre
Tuesday 30th April – Manchester Cornerhouse
Thursday 2nd May – Brighton Komedia