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Film Review: Patrick

Patrick

This deadpan curio from Peaky Blinders director Tim Mielants takes a sideways look at the universal theme of grief. Patrick (Kevin Janssens) is a 38-year-old introverted man still living his parents on-site of a nudist resort deep within the Belgian forest where he also works as a handyman.

When his beloved father suddenly passes away, his pain is compounded by the fact that his prized hammer has gone missing. And so he sets out on a quest to find it among the site’s eccentric residents. The fact that Patrick’s missing hammer represents the loss of his father is about as subtle as the filmmaker actually hitting you over the head with one. In that way it’s a film that wears its message and oddball absurdism proudly on its sleeve. That peculiarity is encapsulated in the eponymous character. But thanks to Janssens’ endearing performance, Patrick is a loveable oaf who’s easy to root for despite his strange behaviour. There’s no getting around the fact that the film is downright weird, from its overall tone right down to the quirky interactions between its eclectic cast of characters and with more casual full-frontal nudity than there is in life. But as weird as it is, it actually manages to be very affecting as it taps into how grief can affect us all in different ways.

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