True Things reviewed by Mark Kermode
True things about me by deborah k, davis, which ruth wilson whos, the um, the lead actor in the film uh, optioned and developed. She plays kate, she is a 30 something woman working in a benefits office in ramsgate, let that sink in for a moment. She spends her days, daydreaming of escape googling holidays, shes in danger of losing her job, because shes late and shes clearly not engaged with work. Her mum and dad think shes flighty. Her mum says that men find it difficult and then into the office, comes a roguish character played by tom burke hes a clip. Oh sorry, computers going out. Uh computers come um right, okay, so it usually takes about three to five weeks for a claim to be processed, and if you, you know dont hear from us within that time, you can just contact us via phone or email. Do you have any other questions? What are you doing for lunch? What uh uh? Well, i usually just eat a sandwich in the kitchen they dont give us very long, sounds worse in prison. You want to go out, sit on a bench. Well, i will keep that in mind. Thank you all right. The uh unmistakable voice of tom burke, who of course, was so brilliant in joanna hoggs, the souvenir in which he played anthony, who was this character that she never really and his absence was in his absence, yeah thats right. He exists as an absence in souvenir part.
Two um, he seems shifty and unreliable and possibly dangerous. They meet and have an assignation in a car park that becomes unexpectedly erotic. He seems to be toxic, but she is intoxicated by his presence. She saves her name on. She says his name on her phone as blonde, which is basically how hes known in the thing and like her, we know very little about him other than the way he makes her feel but hes completely unreliable. He turns up, he disappears, he reappears. He borrows her car, he disappears with a car, he doesnt come back and she starts to crave his presence, particularly when hes, not there. The film has been described by harry woodliff, who is a brilliant filmmaker as a cautionary tale about a destructive sexual relationship. That is so familiar as to be almost a right of passage, and she says that it. One of the subjects that it deals with is how um its possible for a woman to attempt to to define her identity through a relationship, and that makes it sound. Like. Okay, its addressing a particular audience, but i think it works across the board, whatever gender, because i think anybody who has ever looked for their own identity in somebody else or anybody who has ever invested their own sense of self in a romance. That is not. You know that is not a loving nurturing romance will understand exactly what this is about. Crucially, the central character isnt a victim.
She is driven by a passion to ex to escape from the situation that shes in and she kind of shes, both an agent in and an observer of, these chaotic situations that she finds herself in, and i thought the drama was really terrific, partly because it skates This edge all the way through between okay. I can see this. I can see the attraction but hes hes, a dangerous character and hes unreliable and hes, manipulative and hes. You know overpowering, but all the way through it. You also get the sense that she isnt just out of control, and i think that balance is terrific. I think tom burke, incidentally, is channeling the spirit of oscar of um oliver reed. I think he has that same sense of danger and also of isolation. I think ruth wilson is terrific in the central role, because its such a hard role to get right its such a hard role to not play as a victim not play as somebody who doesnt have any agency in their life. Just you have to play it, as i mean an awful lot of why i believe her character is, is to do with physicality its to do with tiny little gestures its to do with looks, and you know the way in which stuff is communicated, that isnt verbal, Its brilliantly shot by ashley connor, who does a great job of getting us into the intimate space of the character, who has a terrific score by alex baranovsky great needle drops – and this, of course, is something that harry woodliff is very, very sort of good with.
If you look at only you and the way in which, in only you, they use elvis costellos, i want you here when you say needle drop, i mean you know like a pop record being played um as opposed to an original score. Sorry excuse me for using uh that jargon. I thought it was really terrific um. I know that some people have, you know, have found it a difficult film to get into because there is underneath it theres, a kind of psychological thriller element. In fact, i think theres almost like a gothic horror thing going on underneath it, but that may be what im bringing to the film it brings me back as ive always said. You know, films give you what you bring to them, but i believed in the relationship.