Described by an Eye For Film reviewer as ‘a home grown improvised feel bad movie that starts at the end and ends at the start’ which is not a bad way to sum up this rather disappointing wee British feature film.
Set against the backdrop of various London locations it is a film of two halves that traces the emotional breakup of nine different couples. The first half deals with the somewhat noisy dramatics of each couples separation and in the second half we witness how each of their doomed relationships got started. It's also said to be a peek into a series of ordinary people's lives - I sincerely hope not! But to be fair I don't think I am one of director/writer/producer and actor Mercedes Grower target audience having been in a single relationship for over fifty years but I'm sure that many of these at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival's world premiere of Brakes (2016) would have recognised themselves! Ms Grower was at the screening for a short Q&A and she explained that the film was targeted for a young to a middle-aged audience. She said that she used three cameras to shot the film, chose the locations herself and that she saw London as the third party in all the nine negative relationships. Going on to explain that she had a back-story for each couple and that she filmed the breakup first.
The movie boasts some very well known actors including Steve Oram, Kate Hardie, Kerry Fox, Julia Davis, Noel Fielding, Roland Gift and Paul McGann who along with the rest of the cast calibrated with Grower in preparing the script and adding their own improvisations. Admittedly, as you can probable tell, l had trouble empathising with the characters in this sometimes funny but mainly rather sad independent movie and if these type of relationships are now the norm then there must be the possibility that true love no longer exists - if this is so then the world is a far gloomier place than I imagined.