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Love Is Thicker Than Water - East End Film Festival 2016

Tuesday 21 June 2016, by Anne-Sophie Marie

In this contemporary London romance directed by award-winning director Emily Harris (Three Towers) and cult film veteran Ate de Jong (Drop Dead Fred), Vida, a young Jewish cellist from a wealthy background, falls madly in love with Arthur, a talented visual artist from a working class Welsh family. Will their passion for each other overcome the obstacles they face as they move in together and meet each other’s families?

Though the film may not give us a definite answer, the way its wonderful cast (led by Lydia Wilson and Johnny Flynn) invites us into the two families gives us an insight into the different stages of love and romance, from the first kiss to the last.

Henry Goodman (Levi) and Juliet Stevenson (Ethel)’s performances are particularly moving as Vida’s parents, leaving us inadvertently frustrated at the swift shift from one critical event to the other in the lives of the Berliner family. A feeling compounded by key moments all happening at once in a last push towards a resolution. Interest in the story and characters unfortunately wanes just
then, especially as Vida’s childlike quality becomes more petulant and childish.

Zoran Veljkovic’s cinematography, punctuated by animation to section the story into chapters and give us a glimpse of Johnny’s work, gives the film a lovely blend of offbeat, urban and romantic, all to the sound of a very fitting indie score. Production design and costumes and makeup are also worth an honourable mention.

A solid 3.5/5

Love Is Thicker Than Water will be screened as part of the East End Film Festival, at Rich Mix on 25 June. More info and tickets here.

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