A Field In England (2013)

BEN WHEATLEY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

United Kingdom, 2013.  , .  Screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Amy Jump.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Amy Jump, .  

Deserters from a seventeenth century battle wander a field dazed and injured in this highly experimental film, likely to head home until they are overtaken by an Irish alchemist, of sorts, who makes them his prisoners.  He tells them that the ground they are standing on contains a buried treasure that he wants them to find, and uses powers of mind control that blur the line between reality and madness as the story progresses.  Ben Wheatley has a sure hand over the operation here, and some of the more visually intricate scenes are highly original and exceptionally well achieved, but most of it happens without enough explanation and there’s a smug sense of its own independent superiority that is off-putting.  An esoteric masterpiece from a genius mind is more than welcome in the world of art-house cinema, but this one is a bit too determined to be frustrating.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2013

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