After years of partying abroad, a terrible accident has January (Amy Manson, "Atlantis," "Being Human") confined to a wheelchair, with no memory of her past, her family, or the stately manor that was once her home. But something isn't right. They say she ran away, but won't tell her why. Her sister wishes she'd never come home. They're locking her in at night. And the way her brother looks at her...
In ESTRANGED, while living abroad, January and her boyfriend Callum are involved in an accident when their scooter collides with an incoming car in a tunnel. While Callum is. ok, January is not. The injuries she sustained have temporary confined her to a wheelchair, and she has a case of amnesia, which has affected her long term memory - she cannot remember her past, or better yet, her childhood. However, despite this, and despite being estranged from them for six years, her family welcomes her back with open arms. She cannot remember them, or remember why it is that she left six years prior, however, things are initially well, as the family seem to be pleased to have her back. However, it is after Callum mysteriously disappears, that bizarre behavior from the family begins to emerge. The parents are overbearing and demanding, the sister is selfish, and the brother is perverted - clearly something is wrong. Soon, as January gets back on her feet, her suspicion is aroused when she finds an old newspaper clipping that documents a suicide at the manor years ago. From there, January begins to slowly regain pieces of her fractured memories of her childhood. And before it is all over, some well kept secrets are uncovered in relation to who she is, and why she abruptly left the manor some years ago.
Going into ESTRANGED, to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The synopsis on the box called it "Gothic", and usually when an official synopsis claims that a film is this, or that, most of the time you should take it with a grain of salt. However, in this case, I am going to go ahead and again, that yes, ESTRANGED is sort of a modern Gothic, mystery thriller. As the film moves along, uncertainties loom as the plot develops, and thickens. Initially, we think that we know these characters, only to find out that we really don't, as the film progresses. All that we know is that this young woman has been injured. The injuries that she has sustained has temporarily placed her in a wheelchair, but her biggest injury is that she is now suffering from amnesia. She can't remember much of the past, more in particular, she can't remember why she left home to live abroad to begin with. But nonetheless, her accident has landed her back home with her family, and what she finds out about them is both startling and strange. Leaving no wonder, as to why she has been estranged from these prople for years.
I kind of liked this film. Part of why it remains interesting, is that mystery of not knowing what's in store. The viewer just has to keep watching to see what this story is all about. How these characters came to be, and what the story behind the character of "January" truly is. The mystery here is tight, and the characters are nicely painted. I liked following along, the mystery is kept a secret until the conclusion, and even now, I'm not so sure the end result is 100% clear to me. I have what I believe to be the conclusion in my mind, and i'll stick with it.
The acting performances in ESTRANGED are all pretty decent, especially Amy Manson, who basically leads the story as the pivitol "January". I hadn't seen Manson prior to this, however, I understand that she has appeared on "Once Upon a Time", and a few other series. I felt she did fairly well here in creating a character which we want to follow - we care about. Elsewhere, making up the strange family, whom are slightly off are James Cosmo ("Albert"), Eileen Nicholas("Marilyn"), Nora-Jane Noone("Katherine"), and James Lance("Laurence"). In addition to the Butler, "Thomas", portrayed by Craig Conway. Out of these performances, I really like the portrayal of "Albert", and "Laurence". Cosmo is sort of nasty and vile as "Albert". While The portrayal by Lance as "Laurence" is the typical, but funny perverted, and incestuous-minded type.
Again, despite not knowing what I was getting into going in, I have to say that for the most part, I did enjoy ESTRANGED for what it is. A darkly progressive story about hidden secrets of the past. Not to mention that it is one that is also nicely photographed as well. That's a plus.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
When it comes to ESTRANGED, I really enjoyed following along with it's mystery. As I mentioned above, it does a good job of keeping the interest alive via its series of events. I felt that the overall outcome, while not as surprising as they'd likely hoped it would be for the audience, was still pleasing in the end. I recommend, as this one is well work a watch in my opinion.
Special Features include :
- Making Of
This film well be released on Blu-Ray/DVD, and VOD on February 16, 2016