TEAR ME APART (2015)
Directed by Alex Lightman
Set in post-apocalyptic Britain, the world has fallen apart. Two brothers wait on the beach for their father who has gone in search of help. Turning to eating humans after meat becomes scarce, the brothers’ future looks bleak until they meet Molly – possibly the last woman left alive. Her quest to find her missing father will change the brothers’ lives forever.
British romantic post-apocalyptic drama TEAR ME APART is a coming of age story featuring two nameless young men, one of whom who is old enough to remember the ‘old world’ – the life the viewer currently knows – whilst his younger brother is unable to remember such a time and takes this new world to be his. In the aftermath of the traumatic events which saw the world tipped on its head, events that are never really explained, the audience learns that the female race is pretty much extinct with just a few women known to have congregated in towns, towns that may no longer exist. When Molly, a wanderer, bumps into the boys, she seeks to make friends but wary of their new arrival, the older brother ties her up until they known they can trust her. The younger brother, curious of the only female he’s seen and the physical differences between them, warms to Molly who decides to name him Joe. Tension mounts between the siblings as the older brother makes it his mission to get close to Molly for his own sexual gratification, something his younger brother knows nothing about having never known any females or sexual relationships, not even remembering his own mother. This menage a trois puts a strain on all three, especially when they find themselves hunted down by a mysterious group. In this time and place, you can trust no-one.
A slow burner of a film such as this leaves the viewer having to invest in something more immediate and fortunately we have that in the shape of three unique individuals: Older brother (Frazer Alexander), young brother/Joe (Alfie Stewart) and Molly (Jennie Eggleton). The trio of lead characters each have something about them that draws us into their story. Who is Molly and what was her life like before meeting the brothers? What secrets is older brother keeping from his sibling? The only one we truly know and can take at face value is younger brother, Joe. This world is all he knows and thus the viewer, who knows just as much, is essentially Joe. Every predicament he finds himself in and ever decision he makes, the viewer is left questioning whether they would do the same. Young and impressionable with loyalty to his elder sibling, Joe is quite the likable character even if he does have cannibalistic tendencies. Despite his hunger for flesh, this film isn’t the horror movie I was expecting. The real horror here is the way in which humans in this new world are forced to live. Anyone looking for bloody post-apocalyptic carnage with people cutting limbs off and flesh being ripped from fresh corpses will be rather disappointed but, from a drama perspective, the movie works that much better.
Apart from the excellent casting of the three leads, the cinematography is TEAR ME APART‘s major highlight with beautiful shots of the stunning coastline and azure waves hitting the base of the cliff, a contrast to the desperate lives the inhabitants of the island are living. The glorious use of camera and positioning of the characters and scenery sometimes makes the action appear cleaner than it actually is but the great use of wardrobe and make-up ensure that the difficult life these people lead is a convincing one.
TEAR ME APART is an imaginative spin on a blossoming romance tale in a harsh, hostile environment. However, the slow pace of the movie and repetitive nature of Molly’s requests to find her father frustrate a little and stifles the momentum. The lack of action and preference of character building and dialogue may not appeal to all but the relationship angle and self discovery has just enough to keep the viewer watching. I feel as though extra scenes could have been added to flesh out the movie as the story lacks in many ways but as it stands, TEAR ME APART is a competent emotional drama.