“Trespass Against Us”
Directed by: Adam Smith
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal, Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris and Georgie Smith
Run Time: 1h 39mins
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
Set in the countryside of Britain, we are introduced to the Cutler crime family which is run by Colby played by a coarse Brendan Gleeson; who, interestingly enough just played Fassbender’s son in “Assassin’s Creed.” Colby’s reputation precedes him for a reason as he’s not a very charming fellow and not many challenge him. The Cutler’s look like a band of misfits or perhaps something you would have spotted in a scene from the movie “Deliverance.” Even though they have been somewhat successful criminals up to this point, they live in trailers and practically in poverty which finally hits Colby’s son Chad, (Fassbender). Not that Colby minds what he does for a living. He has fun when cops chase him through the streets but he’s starting to realize the impact his actions are having on his children and his wife and is struggling with a decision. He has to break away. His son Tyson (Smith) is starting to rebel and verbally spar with his dad, spouting exactly what Chad usually hears coming from his father Colby and this doesn’t sit well with him. Being uneducated, Chad has allowed his father to lead him through his life. He has always done as ordered but he sees the writing on the wall and waking up to what his and Colby’s limitations truly are, he decides he doesn’t want that for Tyson. The police are onto his every move but when he wants to try and leave his father’s shadow, he is, too.
Director Adam Smith, who’s more known for his work on “Doctor Who”, has had mixed reviews on the film festival circuit but having assembled an excellent cast and creating a unique blend of chaos and calm in a crazy world, I think he has a hit on his hands not matter the venue. There’s something fascinating about Chad and his family that, as the film goes on, you almost catch… like a cold. At first you’re not sure you have it but when you do, it really ensnares you. Perhaps it’s the fact that Smith didn’t try to play to the American audience. It’s authentic in that he doesn’t drop the local, incredibly thick accent, nor does he remove the British jargon that’s in use. We are in their world. Luckily for us, we view this world from the extremely gifted lens of Eduard Grau, (“Suffragette”, “The Awakening”, “Buried” and “A Single Man.” He takes you incredibly deep into the story, bringing you into it by using intimate shots that make you feel like you’re peeking around a corner… hiding where you shouldn’t be; surveying where you have no business. The scenery is beautiful so there’s no chance you’re looking away.
Shining are the performances. Lyndsey Marshal is magnificent as Kelly, Chad’s wife, who, through it all, pulls a Tammy Wynette and stands by her man. Fassbender, though his Chad is raging with testosterone and as tough as nails, is almost sweet at times. The moments where he’s not fulfilling an illegal act or behaving like a hoodlum, he shows how at peace his character is with the final decision he has made. A quite difficult one but, as Christ did, he must sacrifice himself for the sake of all of his children. If you can get through the accents, I’d have to suggest you see this in the theatre if it’s near you but if not it’s a must watch as soon as you can, in whatever form possible.