The Caravan


The caravan is an independent film produced by a company called Uprising Features and is directed by Simon Powell, who has directed a few films. There are a two actresses who may seem familiar Karen Hassan (Becky) who had a role in Hollyoaks and Shirley Henderson (Elaine) who has starred in a couple of big name films and TV shows. 

The film is centred around a father, Keith Langley and his son James, who don’t see eye to eye. On the passing of Keith’s wife, James’s mother the pair must set their feud aside and work together to fulfil the wishes that she has left in her will. As the title suggests this involves a caravan. In the opening scenes you can sense the dislike for each other between Keith and James who barely even speak to each other, which continues throughout. From the start Keith comes across as an angered man and goes on to show this. James is a less angry character but does get involved in a little scuffle, both father and son are as stubborn as each other.

caravan (2)Being a low-budget film the location was fairly good it captured what was needed in representing the typical UK holiday caravan site, along with accompanying gloomy weather. The weather reflected the mood of the characters and the tension between them. The accompanying music was at times ostentatious and did not always fit the cinematic. Many scenes would have had a better effect had the music been removed or quieter.

In respect to the narrative it clearly has potential. The rift between father and son is true to life, which allows the audience to relate with the characters. The main protagonist’s Keith and James are depicted as working class northern men. The broad Mancunian accents further enhance the ability for the audience to relate to the characters. Although this is a common cliché of independent films, rarely is it done to such a high standard. An underlying theme to the film is how both the father and the son deal with the death of their loved one, the wife and mother. Keith appears to close up, not reveal too much until the very end when we are allowed to see the regret he feels, on the other hand we see James grieving by reverting to a teenage phase. We see him acting in a rude manner and arguing with anyone who is willing to confront him. However due to the story being so slow to develop, the audience can not appreciate these qualities.

The performances throughout this film are what you would expect from a low-budget film. However there seems to be more focus on the anger side of the main characters that does not allow the audience to see the full range of the actors skills. There are unnecessary scenes that are not relevant to the characters persona nor does it move the story line along. Although the majority of the acting is of a good standard there are certain scenes that are not convincing or gripping. 

In conclusion this film will no doubt develop a cult following due to its working class roots which are relate-able to certain audiences. 

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