The independent London newspaper

Hitting the nihilism on the head

12 March, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

Mark Stanley in Run

Directed by Scott Graham
Certificate 12a

THE Aberdeenshire town of Fraserburgh is the setting for this moving and well-cast drama.

A port, it has a long association with trawler fishing and processing the catches. It is depicted as a place of hard employment and few thrills.

This setting provides a backdrop to a family hewn from the granite, suggesting the environment breeds a certain dourness coupled with hardiness and stoicism in the men and women who live there.

Finnie (Mark Stanley) has grown up in the town and once got his kicks as a boy racer, screaming his souped-up car along the dark roads, slamming it round corners, and finding a sense of escape from the long nights through revving engines.

Now the father of two and tied to a fish processing production line, the cheap thrills of the past have gone – but not been replaced.

Partner Katie (Amy Manson) sees he needs geeing up – she buys herself a party frock and him a new shirt, but his response is there’s nowhere to go and what is the point.

He looks, perhaps enviously, at his teenage boy (Anders Hayward), who is now behind a wheel himself and zipping into curves while playing loud bassy music.

The drama unfolds after an argument at home sees Finnie steal his son’s car and take it for a spin, picking up his son’s pregnant girlfriend Kelly (Marli Siu) en route. Cue some soul searching at high speeds, like a version of Fast and Furious for psychoanalysts.

Mark Stanley is fantastic: it seems extraordinary he is the same actor who starred in a release last week called Sulphur and White, in which he plays a City banker. The character here is the complete opposite and he has done both with real conviction. Stanley’s downplayed approach makes it completely believable, his end-of-the-world sensibility haunts each scene. He is backed by a wonderful cast.

There is a theme of Bruce Springsteen lyrics running through the story – Finnie is a fan – and that he relates to the Blue Collar Blues Springsteen sings about is another clever trick in bringing this moving story alive.


Share this story

Post a comment