Philip Ridley is always an exciting filmmaking name to see alongside a film's title. His films arrive on our cinema screens in small surreal doses often taking large hiatuses of years between each feature. When Philip Ridley's films are lucky enough to reach a cinema screen, they are often unseen by a great mass of people. A crying shame as his films are always thought provoking at a bare minimum. He may not be as proficient as certain other filmmaking Ridley's but his films are more than capable of burrowing into your subconscious. And leaving a lasting impression on someone takes a special talent and Philip Ridley certainly has raw talent in abundance.
Instead of consulting a magic 8 ball, if you see the words The Passion of Darkly Noon underneath this paragraph then I have indeed decided to do a little review on it before the main Heartless review.
Now The Passion of Darkly Noon hasn't got an official DVD release, but it needs to be brought to your attention, which is precisely why I have commandeered this Heartless review. Now I am well aware I am spoiling my own review here, but I am going to admit now that I preferred The Passion of Darkly Noon. Feel free to abandon the review ship now, but if you stick along - I thank you...
Released in 1995, The Passion of Darkly Noon has been seen by about 53 people in total. And of those 53 people about 26.5 probably did not like it. They probably found it to be far too slow and incomprehensible a film to be enjoyed. But for those willing to stick with it they will be rewarded with a fine performance from Brendan Fraser. Treasure that phrase as it is not one that is often heard, similar to the sight of total solar eclipse. Not only has the film got a staggering performance from Brendan Fraser it also stars the always wonderful Viggo Mortensen. But Brendan Fraser steals the show with his role of Darkly Noon. I would be taking up too much time by going into the finer details of the plot, but I will warn any potential viewers that they are in for an otherworldly experience.
This brings me nicely on to Heartless. Like The Passion of Darkly Noon before it, Heartless breaks from conventions. Philip Ridley loves to bathe in the surreal and unnatural. Similar to a David Lynch movie, one must invest time in a Philip Ridley to fully see the exposed picture. And the picture you want to see may not be the one you are granted permission to see. Apologises, that was borderline pretentious, but it is a line that will make sense having seen one of Lynch's or Ridley's works.
The film follows Jim Sturgess' character Jamie Morgan as he deals with a series of troubles that have arrived on his doorstep; quite literally at times. Born with red birth marks covering a significant part of his body, he longs for happiness and 'normality'. And for the most part, this story is developed very nicely indeed. However, like The Passion of Darkly Noon, Philip Ridley does lose sight of the path on a few occasions. I used the words 'raw talent' in my introduction and you will see why when watching the films. Perhaps it was the 15 or so years of cinematic filmmaking rust that is to blame for the few niggles in Heartless. A couple of awkward lines of dialogue here, and few slight off performances there pull Heartless down just a little. The ideas and dark execution of many of these ideas however keep the film firmly a float. One scene in particular involves a lot of burnt skin, a dark room and some peeling. There are a few more nit-picks that could be talked about in Heartless, but overall there are more good points than bad. The siren like Clémence Poésy being one of the good ones. Clémence Poésy's character of Tia adds an extra bit of both beauty and alarm into an already macabre story.
Heartless may not be better Than a Passion of Darkly Noon, but is certainly on the same levels of darkness and visual prowess.
Two movie reviews for the price of one. Unfortunately there isn't a similar DVD or Blu-ray deal. It may be a journey in itself finding a copy of The Passion of Darkly Noon but it is worth an adventure. Heartless, although easier to find is also worth checking out. Hopefully if you spend the time and money searching for each film they do their job and entertain. If not, they will at least have treated you to a deep and lingering cinematic experience. Plus you will always have an anecdote about a floating shoe to keep a captivated audience satisfied having watched A Passion of Darkly Noon.
We will publish your review of Heartless  on DVD within a few days as long as it meets our guidelines.
None of your personal details will be passed on to any other third party.
Philip Ridley directs this Faustian psychological thriller/horror set amid the violent ganglands of the East End of London. Jim Sturgess stars as Jamie Morgan, a young photographer whose life has always been blighted by a heart-shaped birthmark on his face. His acute self-consciousness and longing to fit in lead him into striking a deal with the enigmatic Papa B (Joseph Mawles) in which he can become handsome at last. But he soon discovers the horrific price that he must pay for his newfound good looks.
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Philip Ridley directs this Faustian psychological thriller/horror set amid the violent ganglands of the East End of London. Jim Sturgess stars as Jamie Morgan, a young photographer whose life has always been blighted by a heart-shaped birthmark on his face. His acute self-consciousness and longing to fit in lead him into striking a deal with the enigmatic Papa B (Joseph Mawles) in which he can become handsome at last. But he soon discovers the horrific price that he must pay for his newfound good looks.