Directed by Jamie Noel
In a summer full of blockbuster flops, Lie Low proves to be an intimate and timely portrayal of defining issues plaguing modern Britain.
After his involvement in a knife attack in his neighbourhood in Kent, Parnell (Aaron Thomas Ward) is taken to France by his mother (Debra Baker) to hide away at his sister’s (Elinah Saleh) house. The pair’s unexpected visit disrupts Esme and her boyfriend’s (Jake Phillips Head) lives, bringing back past traumas and wounds. Back in Kent, the brother of Parnell’s victim (Craig Miller) searches for him and his elder brother Marty (Taz Skylar) to seek revenge.
Despite its limited release, Lie Low is a poignant film that captures the crisis of knife crime throughout Britain. Set within the beautiful French landscape, the dark story explores the reality many kids from working-class backgrounds face every day, creating empathy for those whose future only holds imprisonment or death. Jamie Noel’s dialogue, which could have verged on preachy but never quite did, has a deep sense of understanding and compassion for these disadvantaged youths from troubled backgrounds. Paired with Noel’s stunning cinematography, Lie Low is a gripping and shocking piece of contemporary work that is captures the urgency felt by young people and their families throughout Britain.
While Noel’s film radiated in its contemporary commentary, his characters failed to reach their fullest potential. There is no denying that Noel’s characters, and his actors, are the film’s greatest asset, but he fails to explore fully the complexities of each characters’ past and personal traumas. Had Noel not opted for the 20-minute psychedelic trip (which felt like an unnecessary way to tell the story’s main plot), and instead spent the time fleshing out his characters, the film would have felt more complete and whole. Regardless, the little glimpses we get into these characters lives and backgrounds (although frustrating that we don’t get more), along with the fantastic performances given by the entire cast is reason alone to see this film.
Jamie Noel’s film doesn’t feel like a low-budget film. Instead, it acts as an intriguing, intimate and dynamic film that articulates beautifully the essence of a crime-filled Britain.
Lie Low is available now on Amazon Prime