HIDE AND SEEK

Hide and Seek
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This tale of four twenty somethings who decide to abandon the stuffy conventions of London and their generation for an idyllic house in the country-inherited by one of the quartet- and create a lifestyle based on their own rules and poly-amorous desires is a sophisticated, ambiguous film which although reveals plenty of flesh reveals less about each of the protagonists and their motivations.
Director Joanna Coates coaxes great performances from her actors –Josh O’Connor, Hannah Arterton, Rea Mole and Daniel Metz- and a feeling of relaxed loucheness, no doubt created by the fact they all eventually have sexual relations with each other, replaces the initial nervousness they have when they first embark on this adventure/experiment.
Interestingly no explanation is given as to why they have chosen to embark on this ideology and what involvement they had with each other beforehand but not making this clear to the audience is effective as it means they are as much in the dark as to how it will all go as the characters are. Even they are unclear what emotional complexities may exist between them and a practical joke which causes a nervous moment of disruption is not well received by the victims.
In fact the joke is considered more of a disruption and betrayal than an interloper- an ex lover of one of the four who arrives uninvited and unaware of what is going on- who is met with initial mistrust but leaves in unexplained circumstances after a well meaning invitation to partake in the sexual shenanigans on offer. It would appear that the bond already established between the foursome is of more importance than any previous relationships, no matter how serious or complex those relationships may have been.
It is a film which explores radical new concepts of free love but at the same time it bears the hallmarks of tradition: country walks in wellies, bonfires and parlour games in the evenings. To this end it is a brave film which explores the abandonment of the rigidity of modern life which likes to think of itself as open minded but really is more tied to the past than it really knows. Whatever the motivation for the foursome’s decision to choose the lifestyle they have adopted, the message would seem to be it is a preferable option to the one they had before.

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