Cinema Review: Trespass Against Us | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, September 18th, 2020  

Trespass Against Us

Studio: A24
Directed by Adam Smith

Jan 26, 2017 Web Exclusive
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The inimitable Michael Fassbender stars as Chad Cutler, one of the more conflicted members of a long line of criminals and ne’er-do-wells. Seemingly unbothered by stealing cars and breaking into homes, the lifelong getaway driver longs for a better environment, better prospects, and a better life for his two young children. Yet, any hope for improvement remains frustratingly just out of reach under the commanding and domineering watch of the unyielding family patriarch, Chad’s father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson).

It’s thrilling to watch such colossal talents at Gleeson and Fassbender square off against one another on screen. The men play their respective characters as deeply introspective, although in stunningly different ways. Fassbender’s Chad is increasingly disappointed and disgusted by the life he has allowed himself to sink into – the people he surrounds himself with, the mobile home he and his family have been resigned to, and the lack of a decent education for his children, something he feels he suffered from in his own upbringing. Colby, on the other hand, is absorbed in machinations to maintain his exertion over the lot, from holding court at the bonfire each night, to subtly trying to undermine Chad’s desire to see his children receive a traditional schooling. Despite their growing differences, the men remain almost incapable of severing their bond. As much as he might not wish to admit it, Chad still considers Colby his hero; likewise, Colby is desperate to remain the center of his ever-more-distant son’s universe.

Adam Smith’s debut feature film – it is also the first full-length screenplay credited to writer Alastair Siddons – is a nuanced character study set on the wrong side of the tracks. Infused with the occasional, full-throttle car chase, it affords viewers much-needed bouts of action necessary to spice up what would otherwise be a slightly-too-slow for its own good plot. Gleeson’s Colby is not so sinister or odious a figure as to catapult the story forward even while off screen scheming, but both he and Fassbender are compelling enough leading men to carry the film in its slower moments.

a24films.com/films/trespass-against-us

Author rating: 6/10

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