Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Lakes

The Lakes – sylvan tranquility masks high emotion
Robert L. Fielding
Set in England’s Lake District, with Lake Ullswater as a backdrop, The Lakes (375 mins) a video of ‘one of the landmarks of last year’s BBC output, created, written and produced by Jimmy McGovern, also responsible for Cracker with Robbie Coultrane, and Brookside, tackles many of Britain’s social problems - ‘Broken Britain’ with alcoholism, drug abuse, infidelity and moral meltdown in the spotlight.

The unfolding tale of murder, abuse and mayhem, family strife and debt, centres around Danny Kavanagh played by John Simm (Life on Mars – 24 hour party people - ) and the Quinlan family, as well as employees and owners of the local hotel, played by actors with faces familiar to fans of British TV’s ‘Corry’, ‘The Bill’, ‘Holby City’ and ‘Peak Practice’.

Moving from his native Liverpool to start anew, Kavanagh finds himself embroiled more in strife than sightseeing in what he imagined would be a peaceful part of England, where he could start over, stopping his own particular addiction - gambling.

McGovern’s exceptional ability and skill has given us all the ills of a Britain split apart by Hedonism and alienation gone mad, but in the magnificent final scenes, including the inside of a courtroom in which a rape trial is being conducted, McGovern, and his team (Joe Ainsworth, William Gaminara, and Julie Rutterford) and the domestic denoument in several households, we are led to the point of the thing, an expose and moral answer of, not just the main issues, but also, as if there weren’t enough for a modern audience to take in, the hypocrisy of certain high officials of the Church, and attitudes to rape and its victims.

If Britain is ‘broken’, and there is much evidence that it is, this film shows us the way forward through trust, reconciliation, and an increase in traditional family values. Be warned though, this fine production is NOT for the faint hearted!
Robert L. Fielding