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"23 Walks" - Film Review

by Emilia Ippolito

23 Walks

Paul Morrison directs a very simple story- with just very few necessary twists. The film is about the so-called ‘golden third age’ ; it’s the story of Fern - retired dancer and singer- and Dave, a retired nurse, both over sixty and essentially lonely.
 
They are accompanied by their dogs : Henry and Tilly, who get acquainted on some North London fields and like each other’s company, immediately followed by their owners, who do exactly the same.
 
Both are scarred by their past marriages and relations, their children being more of a remote nuisance than a support or consolation of sorts in old age
 
Worried about losing her new ‘friend’ and potential future companion, Dave lies to Fern, hiding the existence of an Black British wife with mental issues who lives in a care home. When truth is revealed, Fern’s angry reaction creates a long gap in their common walks.
 
Fern finally decides to forgive Dave’s ‘betrayal’, and their 23rd walk is followed by intimacy in Fern’s brand new house in the countryside.
 
This low budget indie film shows a realistic picture of what old age and loneliness can be like - for anyone... common feature: being human, with few strengths and increasing vulnerability.
 
Well done to Paul Morrison for a dispassionate view of a human condition; very good performances by protagonists Alison Steadman (currently in a similar role in the BBC series Life) and Dave Johns

 

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About Emilia Ippolito

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