Hitchcockian Thriller: Our Review of ‘Cordelia’

Posted in Movies, VOD/iTunes/DigitalDownload by - July 05, 2022
Hitchcockian Thriller: Our Review of ‘Cordelia’

Some films fall into the trap of explaining too much, while others explain too little. In some cases the explanations, or lack there of, don’t harm the quality of the film. And the film allows it to tell the story in the way it need to tell it. In director Adrian Shergold’s latest film Cordelia he goes the route of shrouding the film in so much shadow that you really don’t know much about the film at all. This surprisingly adds to the mystique and draws you in from the very first scene.

Reclusive stage actress Cordelia (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) was in a terrible traumatic event in the London Underground that has caused her to suffer from terrible anxiety and PTSD ever since. Years on from the event she lives with her twin sister who helps her deal with her ongoing problems. However, she is so reliant on her sister. Being alone for a weekend is enough to threaten to shatter her fragile psyche. At first she starts opening up and experiencing life once again with her upstairs neighbour Frank (Johnny Flynn) being her partner of choice. But soon her paranoia grows stronger. And she starts to believe someone is stalking her, someone who won’t give up until he gets what he wants.

You get a clear understanding of what type of film Cordelia is going to be from the first first shot. You can tell it’s going to be stylistic from the way Shergold films the scene. And you can tell it’s going to be a character piece focusing on Campbell-Hughes’ character. What you don’t get however is how little you are going to be told outside of those facts. Really, Cordelia gives you no information at all outside of the character herself.

You don’t get a clear understand of what type of trauma she suffered, or even what year the film takes place in. It’s up to you to figure things out, because Shergold is not going to tell you. Campbell-Hughes is phenomenal in the role, and because of that the film is an intriguing character study you can’t turn away from. Her chemistry with Flynn is powerful. And watching the constantly changing dynamic between them is not something average actors would have been able to pull off.

Cordelia is a Hitchcockian-style thriller at its best, but be warned, if you like a film telling a complete story it might not be for you. After all, you need fill in several missing pieces because the film won’t give them to you. Even in the end.

  • Release Date: 7/5/2022
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While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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