Film review: Brakes (3 out of 5)

Brakes
Brakes

Brakes has the interesting sub-title of ‘If you knew where it would end, would you ever begin?’

And that’s as good a summary as you can get of this quirky low-budget film.

It’s heralded as an anti-rom-com and uses an interesting device of switching the timelines round.

You normally start with couples meeting and then move on to the consequences.

Brakes shows the deterioration of various relationships in Part Two before giving us the back stories in Part One.

It’s quite a cast with Paul McGann, Julia Davis and Steve Oram leading the way, along with the Mighty Boosh’s Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt.

The mini stories are a broad mix of bizarre, darkly comic and just plain sad.

Writer, director and co-star Mercedes Grower allows for a distinct improvised feel which makes the situations feel quite real.

I have to admit it’s all a bit too tense and dark for me, although the ‘zombie’ and ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ couple bring some welcome relief.

Grower certainly picks some great locations, using London as the catalyst for the nine couples meeting.

Overall, though, it’s an intriguing project that steers clear of the tried and trusted rom-com formula.

Mercedes Grower will be hosting a screening plus Q&A at the Duke Of York’s, Brighton, on Wednesday November 29. She will be joined by co-star Steve Oram.