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True Things ★★★★



Directed: Harry Wootliff

Cast: Ruth Wilson, Tom Burke, Hayley Squires, Elizabeth Rider, Tom Weston-Jones

Released: April 1, 2022 (UK)

We can all admit Tom Burke hit a home run when it comes to portrayals of toxic males in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir a few years ago. Burke’s latest deep-dive into the mind of a toxic male is with filmmaker Harry Wootliff, fresh off her striking debut, Only You, with her second feature film True Things. The film is based on the novel True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies. After a divisive run during festival season, Wootliff’s film is about to hit UK cinemas.

The film follows the story of Kate (Ruth Wilson), who is bored by the daily monotony of her office job. She is sleepwalking through life when a chance sexual encounter with a charismatic stranger, Blond (Tom Burke), awakens her. High on infatuation and the exhilaration of this new relationship, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to this mysterious new man. Hoping he will provide the escape she so desperately desires, she embarks on an emotionally dangerous journey that slowly begins to consume her.

True Things is a viscerally beguiling odyssey and a deeply profound exploration of erotica and toxicity. The red flags are flying all across the initial stages of this tale, and this sense of escapsim transfixes Kate. Wootliff makes it abundantly clear that Kate isn’t happy with her life utilising neutral grey colours at her office and Ruth Wilson’s piercing dull expression at her desk. Life isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, and we all yearn for some escapism and to be whisked away from the daily grind of life. The further you go down the rabbit hole of this tale, the more you question every choice made. Evidently, this is what makes us human, and we must learn from our past to ensure our future.

As Kate escapes the real world, there is a burst of euphoric colours that the tight 4:3 ratio can’t hide. Wootliff tends to balance the good and the bad on a fine line, and it helps pulsates the narrative. The free expressive camera movement delves you deeper into this rush of senses yet allows you to gaze candidly into Kate’s soul. There is so much freedom within the movement it makes you addicted to what is happening on screen, and this adds more to this layered experience Wootliff has created.

Ruth Wilson’s performance is complexly beautiful and frustrating. She channels so much of Kate to the point it feels almost real. The essence of any outstanding performance is to understand your character, and Wilson excels on so many levels. Tom Burke shows why he is one of the finest actors in Britain. The way he brings Blond to life with a brutal charm that’s so beguiling. He sells a dream that can’t be fulfilled, and the chemistry between Wilson and Burke is profoundly harrowing.

Lover of all things indie and foreign language. Can be found rambling on YouTube at times!

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