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Falling Into Place – Raindance Film Festival 2024

Reviewer: Adrian Ross

Writer and Director: Aylin Tezel

Showing as part of the annual Raindance Festival of independent films in London’s West End, this romantic drama is a sometimes sentimental, sometimes bleak odyssey that divides screen time between the Isle of Skye, where our protagonists meet, and London, where they spend much of the movie apart.

There are some interesting elements here, if you can get past the opening scenes, which feature the kind of cutesy putative relationship that only happens in the movies, complete with silly games, cod philosophy and noisy friends who only exist to provide an unconvincing social backdrop. It’s supposed to be charming and quirky, but it’s actually an awful cliché.

While the romance is lacking, and the on-screen chemistry non-existent, the drama is stronger. Kira (writer-director Aylin Tezel) is hung up on a failed relationship, while Ian (Chris Fulton) sticks with a girlfriend he doesn’t love, but who offers rent-free accommodation. In their parallel scenes, we meet Kira and Ian’s alternative partners and get an insight into the relationships. Rory Fleck Byrne and Alexandra Dowling make the most of these rather thankless parts to channel convincing dysfunctionality.

We learn that Kira and Ian also have agonised relationships with their parents, which leave them reluctant to return to their native Germany and Scotland respectively. Ian’s sister has serious mental health problems, which he can’t cope with. This is dangled as a mystery, but so obviously that we guess it immediately.

Neither of the main characters is particularly likeable, and you don’t get the required emotional pull that makes you believe that these people need to be together. Nevertheless, their various escapades are watchable, with some good scenes and directorial touches. Travel and motion are used effectively to convey alienation.

We learn belatedly that Kira is a would-be theatre designer and Ian a struggling musician. Their journey to each other becomes intertwined with the release of their pent-up creativity. Roddy Hart gives a great cameo as music producer Karl, while Kira’s explanation of her portrait of Ian to an art gallery owner begins to discover the kind of dramatic depth the movie has been aiming for all along.

Falling into Place is screening at theRaindance Film Festivalwhich runs from 19 – 28 June in London cinemas.

The Reviews Hub Score:

Patchy but watchable

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