Updated: Jul 20
Billie Piper has transformed her image to the media and towards audiences in the last five years. Starting out as the yellow haired beauty in Doctor Who, she has actively sought out indie pictures in some intriguingly diverse roles in her late thirties. Playing Nicole in Eternal Beauty, a daring sister who goes after older men for their wealth, she has turned heads being involved in a collection of dark humours; like the stages of grief and trauma in the SKY series I Hate Suzie. So when Piper decided to direct her own British about the destruction and abandonment of a single mother in a new eccentric relationship, there was every understanding this was sure to be a unique flash for our eyes.
Music increases your heart in this picture like Usain Bolt hitting the Olympic finish line. There's a constant merry go round of percussion that leaves you fired up for the drama. It's incredibly engaging to have a movie start at full blast, with a date between Mandy (Billie Piper) and Larch (Toby Woolf) crude rape jokes intwined in the script make you wince comically at the screen. Piper does an applaudable job at reviewing modern day life for the title, featuring a clip of insecure females walking the streets, a sexist creative briefing in the office and a divorced father whose darted off to Thailand.
The storyline isn't necessary laid out for you in this film, more of an abstract painting that you are viewing from a far, attempting to unveil the meaning or purpose. Piper challenges the every day norm, flashing back like a doll figure in references of her childhood. The sarcastic humour lays arm in arm with the British satire and compliments the wonderful acting. Conversations between Piper and her son (Toby Woolf) are immensely direct you are left shocked by the reality of his understanding around the focus on drugs and sex. The child composes himself like a hero in this piece and is sure to be awarded a shelf of trophies for his efforts in later adult years.
(Rare Beasts 2019)
As a viewer, your frantically awaiting a deep breathe during the shouting matches between all characters. The chaos becomes incredibly overwhelming and the messages behind the story get lost in the insults. There's a need for pace within the story, but the quick cut edits, convoluted script and aggressive performances, make it a heavy weight towards the last fifteen minutes. Kerry Fox's character was a lost performance between the spider web of relationships, and I feel she could have been written with a main focus as the parent causing immense damage and heartbreak to her daughter's upbringing.
(Rare Beasts 2019)
This film revolves around bleakness and I honour Piper for catching this view on society and playing it through film. Why can't we show the bad? Why can't we express the horrible boyfriends, the bad moms, and the shit relationships? She said in a recent interview with Vice, "People contradict themselves so much in life, and you change, and I think people often behave quite badly and just have little good moments – that feels real to me. I don’t know if it’s true for everyone else." It's an experimental piece, circling on the core values of desires and fantasies, one that could have lead a stronger line for a more connected string of narration.
Release date: 21 May 2021 (United Kingdom)
Director: Billie Piper
Music by: Johnny Lloyd; Nathan Coen