Directed by Richard Bracewell.
Starring Laura Fraser, Richard E. Grant, Antonia Bernath, Adam F. and Tamsin Greig.
Trapped in a dead-end job and with her relationship falling apart, a young woman finds herself questioning her grip on reality and turns to her boss for support, but he has a dark secret of his own.
Cuckoo is a thriller that tries to play on the fact that a professor gradually becomes more obsessed with his star pupil. Unfortunately for me I didn’t believe in that element of the story and if I’m honest I think the focus of the plot was shifted too much for the film to be enjoyable.
One of the main problems I personally had with the film was that the characters were very one dimensional. They each had problems and issues but I neither believed or cared about any of them. Richard E. Grant is a well respected actor but I wasn’t convinced with his performance in this movie.
I also thought the film was very slow paced. It reminded me of Andrea Arnold’s film Red Road in the fact that I was bored senseless while watching it. I was frustrated by Red Road, not because of how dull it was but because it was critically acclaimed and won awards. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with the this film too.
Having struggled to find the main focus of the story of this movie (and there were a number to choose from, such as a relationship break up, a sibling relationship and the apparent main plot) it seems that all synopsis of this film I’ve read point to the obsession between Richard E. Grant’s professor and his model student Polly (Laura Fraser). I didn’t pick up on this element of the narrative until the final act when Polly herself discovers her Professor’s problem so I feel that the story should have focused on this a lot more, which would also entice the audience to feel more involved in the drama of a potentially very interesting issue. One of the best films I have seen that focuses on unhealthy obsession is One Hour Photo – this film could learn a lot from that movie.
Overall I would say I’m disappointed with the way the narratives were delivered in this film as they do have a lot of potential. Maybe next time they should be portrayed a way that is not so mind-numbingly boring.