The eventual outcome of the relationship seems irrelevant, for it does not matter
Relationship dramas don’t often offer the best content for a full length feature. Too frequently do they turn the focus to the inner self, leaving self promotion to take the forefront of an (often thin on plot) production. The character quality then needs to stand strong through the acting as well as the writing, often failing in one or both of those departments.
Gillian (Jemima Kirke) and Oli (Richard Elis) live on the rural Welsh coastline, struggling for money whilst trying to make it in the industries they love. Suffering a self proclaimed blip, the pair look to move forward and through their hardship. But when a night apart leads them both to kiss other people, the relationship begins to spiral, putting into question their future together and what feelings they truly hold.
This issue with self internalising problems leads Wild Honey Pie! down a path of bitterness and eventually self-hating. Neither Gillian nor Oli are likeable characters, at any point, and when the audience doesn’t need to root for the couple, there is little a feature of this nature can do to take grasp of the entertainment value. The eventual outcome of the relationship seems irrelevant, for it does not matter. The character’s actions simply make the relationship an exercise in repetitive stupidity.
As a wider feature, there’s a real struggle to place the film in a location, offering a bleak landscape that never really opens itself to likeability. Wales is well known for its beauty, and Wild Honey Pie! fails to capture that. Using unkempt rugby fields with simplistic cinematography doesn’t make for the most engaging of visuals, and there doesn’t seem to be a full understanding of that from the creators. The story is uninspiring enough as it is, without the landscape seeming just as bleak; though it does hammer home the depressing arch that covers the feature.
Even with irritating characters, a romantic venture into film making needs some appeal, and Wild Honey Pie! doesn’t find that. The film is sadly as bleak as its character’s lives, becoming a far from engaging feature.
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