Film review: Patrick
- Credit: Archant
Closing moments mar the debut feature of Peaky Blinders director Tim Mielants, about a taciturn handyman on a nudist campsite who is distraught at the loss of his hammer
The great thing about the cliched naturist – a balding, paunchy middle-aged man standing with his hands on his hips on a beach or campsite whenever he’s not engaged in a game of badminton or volleyball – is that he is both comic and sinister.
The humorous and the unsettling are so closely entwined in this Belgian feature about a handyman at a nudist campsite, that after a while it is difficult to tell one from the other.
Taciturn and simple-minded, Patrick’s (Janssens) routine existence is thrown by the death of his father, who owned the camp. On top of that, he has lost a hammer – the middle one of a set of a seven that they don’t make any more.
As he searches for his hammer, some of the campers conspire against him.
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Mielants has directed episodes of many prestigious TV shows (including the whole third season of Peaky Blinders) and his feature debut is a cheerfully slippery thing that defies easy explanation.
He has an eye for a telling image – the gap in the rack where the missing hammer should go is eerily effective – but the film drifts away in its closing moments.
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Starring Kevin Janssens, Pierre Bokma, Ariane Van Vliet, Hannah Hoekstra, Bouli Lanners and Jemaine Clement. Subtitled. Running time: 94 mins.