In Films by James Hay - Cinema Editor

Harrowing, bleak and ultimately tragic, Still makes for very hard viewing. That’s not to say it’s without its merits.

Aiden Gillen gives a strong central performance which draws you into this dark story of grief, revenge and loss. He makes for an interesting character study. Not quite a man with nothing to lose but certainly one behaving that way, he dances a fine line between irresponsible drunk and tragic hero. He commands a strange and beguiling charm; the smelly misbehaving dog that you can’t help but still love despite its continuing habit of urinating on the carpet.

The visual realisation is engaging and commendable, anchored by believable performances from all supporting cast members (Amanda Mealing, Jonathan Slinger and notably a surprising and shockingly moving turn from Elodie Yung), but it never manages to resonate enough beyond that to escape the questions raised by such depressing subject matter: did this film need to be made? did I need to watch it? what was it’s purpose?

It certainly leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth, as it’s basically a story of human evil: what can happen when we’re the worst of ourselves. However, as a delve into the dark side of what we’re all capable of in the name of love/loss/grief/anger/hate, then there is something to take away from Still. Even if it’s just that people aren’t very nice.