A romantic weekend away for Rory and Sapphire turns to disaster in the independent feature The Same Circles from director Mark Garvey. Check out our review.
Mark Garvey has been rather prolific in the last few years, having made close to thirty short films since 2013, including such productions as Patchwork, Quenched, and Portmanteau. Now, he has completed his latest project – a full feature film entitled The Same Circles.
Rory (Simon Cleary) and Sapphire (Alice Phillipson) are a loved-up and happy couple enjoying a weekend away in Blackpool when they come across a group of drunken yobs dressed as pirates on a stag doo. After leering and some tormenting, the group attack the happy couple – leaving Rory unconscious and doing something so evil to Sapphire (or Saff as Rory calls her) that she won’t speak of it again, even after Rory’s prying and attempts to convince her to go to the police.
The couple returns home and Rory soon finds his girlfriend on the floor dead, having taken her own life – unable to live with what was done to her. Not only does this event leave Rory devastated but it also sends him completely off-track and obsessed with finding those responsible, even if it sends him to the other side of the country. What follows is a smart and often pretty brutal revenge flick, with Rory using his smarts and the power of the internet (Google in particular) to bring the yobs to their bloody demise.
There have been thousands of films prior to the Same Circles that tackle the subject of partners or spouses taking their revenge on the party who did them wrong, yet I found The Same Circles to be different enough to keep my interest firmly lit throughout the ninety-minute runtime. Simon Cleary plays Rory as a soft-spoken and likable man who would be voted “least likely to get into a fight” in any yearbook. Yet, he snaps and as they say “every man has his breaking point”. Watching Rory go from wimp to psychopath was fun and smartly done. Whilst I enjoyed the performances of Cleary and some of his co-stars, a couple of roles are a little miscast with lines being delivered without the gravitas needed and expected from a feature production.
The film as a whole is shot very nicely and by using some skill in the cinematography and editing department. Mark Garvey wisely mixes up the pacing in scenes; sometimes using a multitude of shots and angles for one clip and then just one wide angle to show a whole scene in the next. It works. There were a few sound issues throughout the film, mostly with the levels during scenes where shouting is featured, which was most likely down to the sound mixer not preparing for the level change – it makes the audio distorted.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Same Circles. Whilst it wasn’t groundbreaking, it was still an enjoyable and intelligent revenge flick made on little money. If you, like me, enjoy clever thrillers, it’s definitely recommended.