Parenthood

Do you really want to relive all those sleepless nights? One good reason for going to see David Farr’s “The Ones Below” — at least if you’re a parent — is to be reminded just what it’s like to try to cope with a screaming child in the middle of the night. (My eldest son had the full-on colic experience for weeks on end.) Just about every mother and father goes through some version of that brutal, disorienting process, I imagine, but it’s not something that turns up in many films or novels. Perhaps that’s because, once we finally get through those awful weeks and months, we instinctively do our best to banish it from our memories. “The Ones Below” is implausible in some respects — David Morrissey’s ultra-uptight banker and his glamorous other half are just that little bit too weird — but Farr does a fine job of evoking the claustrophobia that can be part of daily life when a baby arrives. Clémence Poésy is excellent as the mother who begins to suspect that her new neighbours in the basement flat are even odder than they seem. As Farr explained in a brief interview before the screening that I went to, it’s a British film with a very European sensibility. (The screenplay also reminded me of a Stefan Zweig short story  “Did He Do It?”, a tale, set near Bath, about a baby and a malevolent pet dog.) As I watched, I almost had the feeling that the dialogue was dubbed from a foreign language.

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Journalist and reviewer for The Times & Sunday Times, etc Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: www.facebook.com/clive.davis.10 Instagram: clivephotos
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