After having reviewed the trailer, it was my pleasure to watch and review this new British film Electricity by director Bryn Higgins, and featuring a star making performance by former super model Agyness Deyn.
Deyn plays Lily, a small town girl who works on the seafront arcade but suffers from epilepsy, which causes her to have severe blackouts. She is a popular girl and friendly with the police constable who takes her home after her most recent episode. The story moves to London, when Lily gains advice that her absent brother, Mikey, is alive and well in the Big Smoke. The pair were close when younger before they were split up and put into care.As Lily steps off the train at Kings Cross, she is full of that same ambition, and then promptly mugged and beaten up.
Obviously in this day and age it is easier for Lily to go to London than it was for those angry young men of the kitchen sink, but what she finds is a scary world full of people as afflicted as her due to social constraints (homelessness) or sexual identity, the relationship with a lesbian is delicately portrayed when it could have been titilating.
The reason the tone is so thoughtful is the restrained direction of Higgins who saves his visual flair for Lily's internal attacks when we get the floating and hallucinogenic point of view camerawork; yet the most credit goes to Deyn who gives a performance not only of unexpected surprise but fulfilled potential.
Having quit the runway for the filmic red carpet, Deyn has appeared in several British flicks like Pusher, here the opportunity to bite her teeth into a role of real substance instead of objectified women in roles of lap dancer or prostitute.
Deyn herself is a working class girl from Rossendale, Lancashire who made good, so her connection to Lily is apparent and it is refreshing to see a beautiful woman portray herself and her character in such unflattering positions, such as when Lily has an episode and has urinated herself. The little trait of always having clean underwear in her bag in case is a credit to her research in preparation for the role.
The film is built around Deyn's performance and it is a shame that the adapted screenplay by Joe Fisher based on the novel by Ray Robinson did not have the belief the performance warranted, not helped by those same characters conflicted by sexual identity, the lesbian who lets her live with her free of charge. This is London right?
Yet go see Deyn in a very convincing performance, one this writer hopes gains award attention in the new year, and to think Deyn has had no formal acting training. In the words of Noel Gallagher, another Northerner like Deyn, 'She's Electric'
Electricity is out in Friday 12th December on a limited release from Soda Pictures.