EIFF 2015 – Norfolk

Jul 16, 2015 | Posted by in EIFF 2015
EIFF 2015

Martin Radich’ Norfolk is the story of a father who feels the need to kill one last time while his son deals with the consequences.

Denis Ménochet is the father,only known as “Man” in this film, Barry Keoghan is the son, only known as “Boy”. The father is tortured by the past that apparently shaped him to be a killer which now seems to haunt him and play heavily on the relationship with his son. Partly the film seems to be a passing of the torch sort of story where the son learns not to make the same mistakes as his father but is taught the hard way rather than a simple passing of information.

There’s not a lot to say about this other than it’s almost entirely abstract. I’ll admit that I had very little idea what was going on half the time and when I could follow the story I was still confused by the artificial way that the characters acted. Nobody in this behaved as a human being would and it’s all completely unsettling throughout.


No poster but here’s an image. Excuse the play button, there’s no way to be rid of it

I think the acting is good but I have no real frame of reference as there seems to be an amalgam of real world and dream imagery being played one scene after the other as if that’s the norm. It’s almost as if this film is an on screen representation of a dream which means that it makes absolutely no sense. The narrative is peppered with confusing and random events as well as strange dialogue that gives the whole thing a really unsettling quality. It’s a difficult one to watch and I think it’ll be very much a matter of taste.

Talking about it really doesn’t do any of it justice as it’s almost impossible to describe what it is I witnessed. It means I’ve pretty much failed as a critic which bugs me but on the other hand, this felt like a complete mess to me where it might actually be genius that I simply don’t understand.

It’s safe to say that this film definitely wasn’t for me and as a result I can’t really recommend it. If you’re really into artsy cinema that plays games with structure and narrative coherence then this might be the movie experience that you’ve been waiting your entire life for. Otherwise give it a miss.

  • 1/10
    Norfolk - 1/10


A really harrowing and confusing experience to sit through. The plot makes no sense and the characters don’t behave in a way that could be considered recognisably human.

The impression I got is that the film is about a son learning not to follow in his father’s footsteps but being taught the hard way. It all veers off when strange incoherent things start happening with no explanation. The film plays it so straight that it becomes even more confusing. Part of me thinks it’s an on screen representation of a structureless dream but I’m really not sure.

I don’t have much to say about this and can’t really say if it’s terrible or just genius that was misunderstood by me. That means I frustratingly fail in my job as a critic. As such I really can’t recommend it unless you like your films confusing and artsy.

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