Inland – Film Review

Director: Fridtjof Ryder

Writer: Fridtjof Ryder

Starring: Rory Alexander and Mark Rylance.

Rating: ★★

Inland is the feature length directorial debut from Fridtjof Ryder, a story about a young man (Rory Alexander) who is struggling after the disappearance of his mother. No one knows what’s happened to her, and he has a lot of anger that he doesn’t know where to direct. After being discharged from a psychiatric hospital he makes his way back home and stays with a local mechanic, Dunleavy (Mark Rylance).

For the most part this is a very cold and distant film, so you never really connect with any of the characters. The young man is clearly struggling with the loss of his mother, but that’s about as deep as his character gets. He’s not even named. Rory Alexander gives a good performance, but it’s not a memorable character. Likewise, Mark Rylance is excellent as Dunleavy, who takes the young man under his wing. The best parts of the film are when they share the screen together. There’s a warmth between them as they play backgammon towards the start, and that’s missing for most of the remaining run time. 

There is a strange and uncomfortable tone throughout, with some almost Lynchian imagery. The young man always seems to be unfocused and not present in the moment, apart from his first reunion with Dunleavy. There’s a lot of tension between in his life, which is reflected in the way the film is shot, with loud sound design. He feels his skin is tight, especially around his chest, and there’s moments where you can hear it when he’s moving, like leather being stretched. There’s great sound throughout the film, and it does create a strange and almost hallucinogenic atmosphere. 

The worst thing about Inland is that pretty much nothing happens. It’s incredibly slow, and even though the entire film is barely eighty minutes long it feels a lot longer, as each second drags into the next. It’s mind numbing to watch, and not interesting at all. It feels like the film is trying to be poignant, and the offbeat nature is trying to be something from a David Lynch film, but it’s just not. What starts off as an interesting drama, fizzles out into nothing.

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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1 Response to Inland – Film Review

  1. Tony Briley says:

    Thanks for the review on this one. I hate watching a movie, waiting on something to happen, then it ends with nothing happening at all.


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