Blood Orange (2016) Review
Writer/Director: Toby Tobias
Stars: Ben Lamb, Kacey Clarke, Antonio Magro, Iggy Pop
Out now on UK DVD from Metrodome
I should imagine that one of the biggest issues a first time director must face, is attracting a star that has both acting ability as well as name value. writer/director of Blood Orange, Toby Tobias seems to have managed it buy offering punk rock legend Iggy Pop his first feature film starring role.
Blood Orange is set on the stunning island of Ibiza, and takes us inside the relationship of Bill (Iggy Pop), a half blind, raging former rock star and his beautiful, much younger wife Isabelle (Kacey Barnfield, The Inbetweeners). All seems idyllic, until things Bill begrudgingly agrees to open up their relationship to allow Isabelle to have sex with handyman David (Antonio Magro).
Although Bill isn’t enamoured with the newly formed threesome, he his content to know that his beloved wife is now happy, so goes along with it anyway. Unfortunately for Bill, things get even worse when Lucas(Ben Lamb, Divergent) appears at their door. It turns out that Lucas is the son of one of Isabelle’s old flames, and he believes that she has made off with some inheritance that he believed was meant for him. Bill ask’s Lucas to stay with them at the villa with the intention of making peace, but Lucas has another agenda…
A deadly game of cat and mouse develops, and the hunter soon has the tables tuned on him and becomes the hunted as his plan crumbles before his eyes. What we see develop is a devious game of lies, deceit and death as Lucas becomes nothing more than a pawn in their game…
Before i go any further, I feel i must point out that Blood Orange is a 4 person character study, rather than a blood and guts action/horror film. Because of this, the acting and character development becomes key. Unfortunately the characters are the biggest let down in the film!
Iggy Pop has all the charisma and magnetism that we have come to expect from him, but essentially he is playing himself. It’s a shame as he is the glue that holds the film together. Of all the characters, it is Isabelle that is the most human and fleshed out.
That’s not to say the acting is bad, because it really isn’t. Iggy Pop is solid and Kacey Barnfield gives Isabelle a quietly seductive front with with subtle hints of darkness to her. Ben Lamb plays Lucas on a knife edge, teetering between victim and sociopath, and Antonio Magro’s portrayal of handyman David holds up well.
The film is directed well, and this combined with some stunning cinematography showcasing the stunning setting shows that Tobias has what it takes to be a top notch director. Tobias includes a lot of symbolism in the film, referencing the fruit the film is named after with shots of the fruit itself, the orangey desert and of course, blood as well.
Filmed over a period of just 14 days, Blood Orange is a slowly paced thriller. The pacing works well with Iggy Pop’s calm demeanour, yet industrial, gravely tone. While the story itself isn’t the best, it is a strongly hypnotic film, and if you like slower paced movies, then I would defiantly recommend this one!