Review: Intimate Views

Written and directed by Joseph Barglowski, a house in the woods reveals its mysteries to a couple of temporary inhabitants. Starring: Kyle Richardson, Cody Boyce, Beth Hamilton and Bob Hamilton.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Intimate Views is the entirely offbeat atmosphere that it fosters. It holds an extremely unusual air, you feel as though you can’t quite trust it or that there’s something going on which you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s a quality that becomes both an advantage and disadvantage, primarily it does feel intriguing and individual, sparking at your curiosity but it also doesn’t pay out. It creates an ironic edge that turns its flirtations with romance into the unromantic and awkward, and not entirely in a way that feels intentional.

However there’s an interesting clash at work to its visual, Barglowski taps into the idea of changing styles, having the set decoration and choice to shoot on 35mm playing into a nostalgic, 80s feel which by then introducing technology to that environment, makes it feel very much at odds. It shows the effect that changing times have, how quickly things go out of style and also how style can be generational in the sense that this younger couple feel out of place in this house but the older couple fit perfectly.

Although that idea and intention is there, it feels almost contextual, which makes it hard to invest in and to truly hold your attention throughout because it’s keeping you at arm’s length. There’s nods to a certain darkness but that aspect of the story never gets to break out and make an impression. The result is that there’s no tangible story to follow, a particular path to travel or goal to meet, it’s meandering from one point to another. It’s a tricky thing to keep a film moving in that fashion for almost 30-minutes while keeping a grip on your audience, and it doesn’t entirely work here. It feels as though there could have been even just a hint of a larger personality or sympathetic side to give you something to hold onto, and to make a memorable impact.

Similarly, without giving its characters more individual personalities or strong characteristics, the actors don’t have a lot to work with. Leaning intentionally into the mundane undercuts a lot of what they can possibly achieve, while their performances may feel convincing, they don’t create something satisfying to watch. They’re required to downplay their roles to such a degree that there’s little to give you reason to care about them or their journey.

Intimate Views has an interesting and relevant idea but the way in which it’s executed isn’t the most effective. It hints at something larger but never gets there, leaning into an unusual atmosphere but focusing too much on the everyday to really pay off in the end. There are some unique elements at play but the balance they create as a whole is a little too uneven for everything to come together.

Verdict: ✯✯½ | 5/10

Available to view as part of Long Distance Film Festival’s
Special Present(ation) from 28th to 31st May

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