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There are some strong ideas and sharply observed family dysfunction drama in this feature debut by documentary maker Ed Morris. But none are enough to stop the film sinking into silliness, with a highly implausible abduction followed by a road trip across the South Downs.
Bridgerton’s Ruby Barker plays troubled 19-year-old Yakira, who lives with her dad, his second wife and her lairy 12-year-old half-sister Kelly (Lily-Rose Aslandogdu). Family life is an emotional battlefield in their suburban semi, the two girls constantly at each other’s throats. Yakira resents the way their parents ignore Kelly’s nasty nickname for her: “No mum.” The whereabouts of her birth mother isn’t revealed until later on, but Barker’s compelling performance hints at a childhood trauma that has left Yakira feeling adrift in the world, vulnerable and impulsive.
One night, after an explosive family row, Yakira kidnaps her sister while she sleeps. The logistics of this are the film’s first major plausibility lapse: is it actually possible to lift a 12-year-old out of bed, down some stairs and into a car without waking her up? Anyway, the plan is to take Kelly across the South Downs to visit Yakira’s mum. But when Kelly wakes up and flips, Yakira locks her in the boot. The police – called by their worried parents – launch a surprisingly well-resourced manhunt.
Things go from bad to worse for Yakira when she accidentally picks up a hitchhiker (Adam Hugill). He looks like he’s walked out of a village hall production of Brideshead Revisited with a white suit, floppy hair and boarding-school sneer. Actually, he’s a drug dealer – and with his arrival the movie sinks into contrivance, increasingly forced and silly. Still, nothing can rub the shine off Barker’s huge talent; she is totally authentic even if the film is half-baked.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: How to Stop a Recurring Dream review – Ruby Barker lends class to kidnap thriller | Film