The Low Down
"I hate when you're having a great conversation with someone and that person suddenly asks, 'What do you do?' as if you are defined by what you do for a living," Frank (Aidan Gillen) tells his new girlfriend Ruby (Kate Ashfield). What Frank does for a living, along with his friends John (Tobias Menzies) and Mike (Dean Lennox Kelly), is make huge props for TV shows in London, but that alone says little about who he is. Like Ruby, the viewer must try to piece together Frank's story. The film, written and directed by Brit Jamie Thraves, refuses to describe Frank or his friends directly, instead building kaleidoscopic pictures of people through fragments. Tight shots of eyes and faces, bits of conversation, small gestures, and brief, odd moments combine to reveal glimpses of each person. Slowly, it becomes apparent that Frank has insecurities, but it is never clear just what they are or where they come from--yet he is a fascinating enigma. The film has no consistent narrative and depends almost exclusively on the viewer's curiosity about the characters. Unsurprisingly, there is no concrete resolution, but the film leaves a haunting afterimage that proves it a stunning piece of work.