There’s something particularly striking about remote British landscapes – the vegetation, the colour palette, a combination of dark green and grey skies, and the almost permanent drizzle. Even better, these fantastic views, far away from the hustle and bustle of cities, can serve multiple purposes in filmmaking. It might as well be the perfect background to spend a romantic weekend, but in the same time, it can be used as a backdrop for something a bit more… out of the ordinary. Remember what Jonathan Glazer did with the Scottish Highlands landscapes in ‘Under the Skin’?
Well, ‘The Getaway‘ achieves a balance between the two frameworks. It starts as a couple’s journey to a weekend retreat, but there’s a feeling of anxiety right from the start – both with regard to their personal relationship, and to an unknown outer factor, punctuated at intervals by cosmic movements. They each have important news for each other – however, a telephone call and a bright light in the sky change the nature of the game.
Writer-directors Shervin Shirazian and Nicholas Cooke showcase a unique vision with their project. On paper, the mix of elements might not seem like much, but in practice, everything works out almost flawlessly from a content side – the film constantly asks questions and keeps its audience guessing. Who does the woman keep texting, why is there an air of palpable tension between the two lovers, and what is the origin of the light that appears once darkness falls – all mysteries that are maintained until the very last act, and even beyond.
The highlight of the film is, without any doubt, its cinematography and outstanding visual grammar. The final result is amazing, and even more so when you consider the very small production budget with which the production team had to make due. The soundtrack is well-dosed and manages to generate a very eerie atmosphere that only enhances the overall quality of ‘The Getaway’ and provides it with a unique touch. Certain aspects could be improved, such as cohesiveness in some areas, or the overall quality of acting, but even in its current form, the project by Shervin Shirazian and Nicholas Cooke certainly makes the desired impact on its audience.
‘The Getaway’ makes full use of its remote British countryside backdrop, constructs its narrative in a smart and fresh manner, and offers a remarkable end product, one which we certainly enjoyed watching and re-watching. It’s a bizarre mix – in the best sense of the word – that you’ll never quite know what to expect from, and through the act of keeping you guessing, it showcases its inherent value.