‘Daphne’ is the vibrant character portrait of a young woman on the threshold of a much-needed change.
‘Daphne’ is a British independent film about a young women living in London, following her life after she witnesses a violent crime in a convenient store. It’s a character study of a young woman as she goes about her life, trying to make a living and find love, and although this sounds like the description of a typical romantic comedy, it’s a lot more subversive than that. Whilst it has rom-com elements, this is a much more cynical and realistic portrayal than what that subject would usually entail and our protagonist isn’t a particularly likeable character at the outset. She does feel relatable though, and this is largely down to Emily Beecham’s winning performance.
It’s a very loose drama in a narrative sense, with supporting characters flitting in and out and the title character herself not going through the usual ‘transformation’ we’ve come to expect from a film of this nature. Out of the supporting cast I’d have liked to have seen more of David, particularly as Nathaniel Martello-White had good chemistry with Beecham, and there is a sense that the material is a little too slight with limited payoff. That being said, given it clocks in at only 84 minutes long, ‘Daphne’ is a bright and breezy piece of British cinema that does a solid job of capturing the modern London lifestyle for a young women, and whilst it lacks a little in narrative, Beecham’s performance will win you over.
Directed By: Peter Mackie Burns
Starring: Emily Beecham, Geraldine James, Nathaniel Martello-White, Osy Ikhile, Stuart McQuarrie, Sinead Matthews and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor