TROUBLED ** UK 2007 Dir: Jason Impey 84 mins
TROUBLED follows brother and sister, Freddy (Nick Stoppani) and Fanny Salmon (Julie Gilmour). Freddy has severe OCD and learning difficulties, his sister is the only family member left to look after him. Unfortunately for Freddy, Fanny has some serious issues of her own.
Freddy’s friends haven’t seen him for ages and are trying to get him to spend some time with them as they suspect Fanny’s way of caring for him is doing more harm then good. This leads to some disturbing scenes of physical and mental abuse, self harming, attempted suicide and incest. Director Jason Impey certainly does not try and conceal anything whilst covering this topic and, considering this is one of his earlier movies, he made a brave move choosing something so controversial. Shot in a kind of mash up of styles mainly Grindhouse but this does also state in the opening titles that it follows some of the “Vows of chastity” DOGME 95 rules of film making. As a low budget independent it is definitely not without its flaws. The acting is rather sticky from the majority of the cast, the dialogue is mostly non existent and would appear that it was made up on the spot whilst they were shooting, plus more then a few scenes (the dream sequences especially) are disjointed, confusing, over crowded and go on way longer then is necessary. That being said some of the more disturbing scenes were better thought out and had the desired impact. Hats off to Nick Stoppani as Freddy who was the only one who didn’t really waver in his role and you do care about what happens to him, and Minna Paija as Natalia, Freddy’s friend that suffers from Narcolepsy, who may not have meant too but does provide a couple of giggles. Well utilised use of local town and woodland settings from in and around Milton Keynes and a sparse but not particularly memorable soundtrack. Its an interesting and unique indie movie that is not afraid to take on a contentious subject but it is a little hard to get into.
Review by Sarah Budd