Watch: Catch Me Daddy + A Rant

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Catch Me Daddy is the kind of film that leaves you with aching muscles because you've been hunched over, physically tensed up at the building horror of the action on screen. And yes, I headed straight to the bar for a drink to settle my shot nerves as soon as it finished.

A debut feature from brothers Daniel and Matthew Wolfe, Catch Me Daddy tells the story of 17 year old Laila, a Pakistani girl who has fled her traditional family to be with her white Scottish boyfriend. They are trying to scrape by in a secret world of no N.I numbers at work for fear of being tracked down, holed up in a caravan on the Yorkshire moors, unaware that a group of Pakistani men, including her brother and some hired white men from the seedy underworld, are catching up to them.

'Honour killing' is never actually said out loud; it doesn't need to be. As the men close in on the couple, it seems even more heart wrenching as we never see Laila and Aaron so much as kiss. While the relationship is clearly real and intense there is an almost innocent childlike quality to them that makes the brutal tracking down seem unnecessary.

Robbie Ryan, who made East London look postively stunning in Fish Tank works his magic again, the Yorkshire Moors almost becoming a character in it's own right; misty air, dazzling sunsets and lots of atmospheric nights shoots using the outdoor backdrop to amp up the terror. The seemingly mundane becomes beautiful; a fish tank, nail polish spilling from an overturned bottle. The Wolfe brothers said they drew inspiration from old Westerns and you can definitely feel that classic chase and sense of foreboding coupled with a very modern look at both race and class. The comments made by the Pakistani men about the guys they've hired to help are often hilarious and the nightclub scene delivers the sheer horror of nightlife up North.

Street casting was used for a number of characters and the realism it brings would lump the film in the 'social realism' category, were it not so cinematically shot. Several scenes, like the one in the milkshake shop are hilarious without the polish an actor would have brought. Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, with her hypnotic green eyes, won the award for best newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards recently. She deserved it, for the last harrowing scenes that will leave you digging your nails into your hand, alone.

And now for a rant.

I've seen Catch Me Daddy reviews and interviews everywhere from The Guardian and The Independent, Hunger magazine, Dazed, i-D and Vice. There was plenty of buzz from the cool taste makers and respected industry, your BFI's and Film 4's. But as I watched the film at Brixton Ritzy, less than a week after release, the screen was not even a third full.

Where are all the readers of those publications? Where are the film fans? I bet screens for 50 fliiping Shades are 3 times as big and still selling out. I know the media has rammed that film down our throats for months and the campaign would have been a huge money strong beast designed to do exactly that. I know that British films are given a tiny marketing budget in comparison to Hollywood blockbusters, and without awareness people won't part with money. But there has been a steady buzz about this film and still the bums aren't on seats. I won't knock anyone who streams films at home, money is tight for us all and the cinema is expensive. But we need to support British films by actually going to watch them on the big screen the way they were designed to be watched, we need to pump that money back into the industry so that Brits can carry on making excellent films the way only we can. No Catch Me Daddy doesn't have some bumbling toff prancing about in a tepid romantic comedy. It does have real characters, real beauty, real suspense, real issues. Now it and films like it, need real support.

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