Mental illness is always a tricky subject to bring to the screen but
thankfully first time director Marilyn Edmond manages to stay clear of all
the mental health clichés and brings us a movie that’s as warm and funny as
it is harrowing and sad.
Filmed over 15 days in North Berwick – plaudits should go to the camera
work in the movie as the town has never looked better- on a budget that
wouldn’t pay for the catering on a Hollywood movie, “Connect” begins
tragically with a hooded figure throwing themselves from the town’s cliffs.
We then meet Brian (Kevin Guthrie), a young man who, unbeknown to his
family and friends, is suffering from depression. Feeling unable to share
his grief with anyone, he heads, with the intention of ending his life, to
the same cliffs.
Saved at the last minute and befriended by Jeff (Stephen McCole) Brian then
takes up voluntary work at the care home that Jeff’s owns. Here he meets
single mother Sam (Siobhan Reilly) and things seem to be on the way up for
Unfortunately whilst the audience and those around him might see in Brian
someone who has it all, he has a job, a loving family and good friends,
Brian’s illness lurks in the background like a dark shadow that wants to
take whatever happiness he has from him.
“Connect” might not sound, given the subject matter, like a great night at
the cinema but Marilyn Edmond, who is also the movies producer and writer,
and an outstanding cast – Guthrie and Cole are excellent as are Sara
Vickers who plays Brian’s sister and Cameron Fulton who plays Brian’s
workmate and best friend Gavin - have managed to conjure up something very
special indeed. I won’t spoil the ending other than to say it’ll certainly
have you talking about it long after you’ve left the cinema.
“Connect” is an outstanding directorial debut and on the basis of “Connect”
this won’t be the only movie where Marilyn Edmond she has her name in the
“Connect” is getting a limited cinema release and is well worth searching
out and comes highly recommended.