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A young architect awakes after a night of partying and struggles to adjust to his new surroundings

Genre: Drama

Length: 21:00

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4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Anita Atwal, Meena Ayittey

Director/s : Meena Ayittey, 

Writer/s : Jude Cook, Meena Ayittey

Actor/s : Jason Eddy, Naomi Sheldon

 

Where the head is

Hip architect Jake is trapped in a hospital for reasons he doesn’t understand. He can’t trust his mates, who gleefully got him drunk, drugged-up and hospitalised in the first place. Nor the other patients, mute with scarred throats and ever more bandages over their faces. Nor the doctor, nor the nurse who straps down his hands and remorselessly taps sedatives into his I.V. drip.

Is he victim of some sinister experiment? Are they after body-parts? Or is he as mentally ill as they say? Maybe this stranger who visits him can help… Amy is onto the place, working undercover, but he mustn’t say anything until her plan is put into action.

Yes it’s a bit too long. Best pretend that the film really starts after the opening two minutes of him fending off his mother’s video call. And yes, fewer words and more silence would actually have been more disturbing than the doctor’s “I know best” explanations.

Forget such quibbles, and admire Jason Eddy as Jake, who never lets us get bored even when he’s immobilised on that bed for over half the film’s length, in increasingly sweaty, panicked paranoia.

Writer/director Meena Appitey brings some nice touches: we know Jake’s in trouble when we see he’s reading One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the start; and his eyes remaining in shadow when he can hear Amy but can’t see her. The script is well structured, with climaxes along the way, such as a shock when the other patients (inmates?) remove their bandages.

The characters are well-drawn without being caricatured: ice-cool doctor, hard-faced nurse, over-solicitous mother, dodgy mates (but we see why Jake goes along with them). And Amy, his smiling lifeline, whose visits – strangely, in this place – nobody seems to care about. Or even notice…

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