TRESPASS AGAINST US
Three generations of the rowdy Cutler family live as outlaws in some of Britain's richest countryside - hunting hares, ram-raiding stately homes and taunting the police. Struggling to retain a way of life fast becoming extinct, Chad (Michael Fassbender) ends up caught between his father's (Brendan Gleeson) archaic and supposedly Catholic principles and trying to do right by his kids. Meanwhile, the full force of the law is finally catching up with him.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The irony of this film is that we are enthralled by the cast creating marvellously three dimensional characters, yet we are not really engaged by them nor care for most of them. Perhaps in part that is the result of heavily accented dialogue that's hard to unscramble ...
Michael Fassbender as Chad is the central figure in an almost Shakespearean tussle with and against his father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson), a petulant and paternalistic man whose complexities include a fervent devotion to Jesus and an equally fervent devotion to robbing stately homes. This should provide some black comedy but neither the screenplay nor the direction take the opportunity.
Lyndsey Marshal is terrific as Chad's wife, one of the more appealing characters, as is their oldest son, little Tyson, superbly played by Georgie Smith.
The extended family of the Cutlers live in trailers in a dishevelled camp, a high contrast to the achingly beautiful countryside around them. The outside world is pretty much the enemy, especially the police. This mindset is emphasised and enforced by Colby in a tough love sort of way, setting up the brittle relationships within the camp and with the rest of the community. Chad tries to break out, encouraged by his wife, Kelly, but Colby won't stand for it.
Director Adam Smith portrays their lifestyle with excellent authenticity and texture, which goes to help us understand them - as much as that is possible.
Chad, who never went to school and can't read or write, is keen to ensure his kids get a better chance, to avoid relying on petty crime like he does, to survive. In that respect we can see the film as partially about his redemption, but neither is this enough to satisfy our cinematic need, nor is it quite cathartic enough for a moral payoff.
Email this article
TRESPASS AGAINST US (MA15+)
CAST: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal, Georgie Smith, Rory Kinnear, Killian Scott Sean Harris, Gerard Kearns
PRODUCER: Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan, Alistair Siddons
DIRECTOR: Adam Smith
SCRIPT: Alastair Siddons
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eduard Grau
EDITOR: Christina Hetherington, Jake Roberts
MUSIC: The Chemical Brothers
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nick Palmer
RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 16, 2017