Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Like a Roald Dahl penned television episode of Tales Of The Unexpected, this work starts with, on the face of it, a most mundane scenario - that of a typical family day out to the beach - and by adding only the slightest of twists, turns it into something far more sinister and horrifying. For it seems that not only are those people who arrive at the sheltered cove on this lovely sunny summer's day prevented from leaving by some unexplained force, but they also begin to age far more rapidly than is normal, at a rate of years over hours. And as the various protagonists waste time, first pointing fingers at each other, then speculating increasingly wildly about outlandish theories as to why on earth this is happening to them, the sands of time keep moving ever more quickly, eventually with deadly results.
Penned by film-maker Pierre Oscar Levy, I really didn't know what to expect from this work, as I'm not remotely familiar with his cinematic output at all, but this is great stuff, and perhaps his artistic background is responsible for making me think of Tales Of The Unexpected, thinking about it. Especially as sometimes with speculative fiction, it isn't really about the ultimate ending, or indeed even getting to the truth of the matter of how exactly we arrived at the situation we find ourselves in, but about how the various characters react and interact with one another, that makes it so fascinating. That's exactly the case here, as yes, we get some of the typical stereotypes sounding off to amusing effect, but also unexpected points of connection and tenderness, as the seriousness of the situation becomes ever more apparent.
Excellent art from Frederik Peeters, whose autobiographical work about his developing relationship with his HIV positive girlfriend (BLUE PILLS) we stock and highly recommend. I had forgotten how well he does facial expressions, and it's certainly used to good effect here as the cast of characters goes through pretty much the full range of human emotions in what turns out to be one very long drama-filled day. I think this would probably appeal to those of you who enjoyed works like DAYTRIPPER and ONE SOUL as this is also something that's a little bit different, but not too detached from the real world. As with those works, this is all about the people involved.