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Daphne shows an eye for London

28 September, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Emily Beecham plays a 30-something Londoner in Daphne

Directed by Peter Mackie Burns
Certificate 15

ALL too often, films set in the here and now, on streets we know, dealing with issues that we can all relate to, stumble badly over the cringe factor: for every Attack the Block or Dirty Pretty Things, there is some instantly forgettable geezer caper about geezers. For every Mike Leigh there is a Richard Curtis sugary-sweet carbuncle on the face of a much-loved city, or something that attempts to be gritty realism but feels like a drama class warm-up game.

So it is even more refreshing to discover that Peter Mackie Burns’ debut feature, Daphne, which could be a “cor blimey” nightmare, is nothing of the sort. It is funny without being try-hard, thoughtful without shoving a Mumblecore-style “modern life is rubbish” philosophy down your throat, and has a terrific lead in the shape of Emily Beecham.

Daphne (Beecham) is the 30-odd kitchen worker doing what single 30-something Londoners get up to. Namely, she slaves away for not very much, goes out partying, and trundles around, swerving to avoid life’s little obstacles. A birthday party with family focuses the mind, as does the idea of something romantic that is more than being just a laugh.

There is a little bit of the TV series Fleabag about this, but with a subtlety which Fleabag studiously avoids in the search for gags.

Beecham aces it.


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