Daphne Blu-ray Review

Daphne

Knowing yourself’s a funny thing.

Not knowing who you are isn’t quite so funny, unless you’re on the outside looking in… which is the approach director Peter Mackie Burns has taken with his debut feature Daphne.

Now Daphne’s a smart, talented, pretty twenty-something woman living in London. 

So far, so normal.

Alas, her 9-5 life as a sous chef in some hipster cafe doesn’t really provide our heroine with enough stimulation – so Daphne indulges her self destructive impulses on a daily basis instead to keep her entertained throughout the day.

First world problems, eh?

Unfortunately for Daphne, she’s about to have an inner city experience that might create some real problems to keep her mind occupied. 

Written by Nico Mensinga, Daphne is a wry film that strives to capture what it’s like for so many twenty-somethings who move to London looking to make something of themselves.

Of course, this is easier said than done if you don’t what that thing is… so a lot of folk tend to flail around as they try and make sense of themselves and the city the they find themselves in.

Or could that just have been me.

Funny in parts, though not a comedy – romantic at it’s heart but not a romance… Daphne straddles a few different genres while defying their more rigid conventions, mimicking its protagonist in a strange sort of way.

Which is no bad thing – Daphne feels a lot more real than most focus grouped films you might see that don’t have anything to say, and just want your money.

Beecham is charmingly convincing in the titular role, making us root for her no matter how rootless she may seem to be, and there are a collection of mostly male supporting characters who each shed a little more light on Daphne’s true nature.

It doesn’t all work, particularly the awkward romance Daphne strikes up with a nightclub bouncer for no good reason, but even this adds to the idea of people who will do something – anything – just to feel something again.

To distract themselves from the oft dehumanising state of being that is living in London in your twenties.

After all, even bad decisions can make you feel alive.

But there’s good news for anyone reading this that identifies a little too strongly with Daphne… your thirties are a whole lot easier.

Jonathan Campbell

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