- 1 hr 54 min
Archipelago is a 2010 British drama film directed by Joanna Hogg. The film follows a family of three going on a vacation to the remote Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall. The family is made up of Edward (Tom Hiddleston), the son, and his parents Cynthia (Kate Fahy) and Christopher (Christopher Baker). The film explores the dynamics of the family and their interactions with the locals on the island.
Archipelago is a slow burn film that delves deeply into the emotions and relationships of its characters. The family's holiday is meant to be a relaxing break from their busy lives, but it quickly becomes apparent that there are tensions bubbling beneath the surface. Edward is on the cusp of adulthood and struggling to find his place in the world, while Cynthia and Christopher are playing out a dynamic that has been strained for years.
The Scilly Isles themselves are a character in the film. The rugged, isolated landscape reflects the emotional landscape of the characters. The islanders that the family encounters are friendly but reserved. It is their interaction with the locals that underscores their emotional isolation.
The film is a masterclass in acting. Kate Fahy gives an outstanding performance as Cynthia, a woman struggling to connect with her family. She is an aloof, academic woman who is used to being in control, but it is clear that she is barely holding it together. Christopher Baker is equally impressive as the father who is trying to reconnect with his son. Tom Hiddleston, as the disaffected son, shines in his scenes with the islanders who he has more in common with than his own family.
The cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the rugged beauty of the Scilly Isles. The camera lingers on the landscapes, creating an atmosphere of loneliness and isolation. The use of natural light and muted tones gives the film a sense of authenticity, as if the camera is capturing real moments in time.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its exploration of class. The family is wealthy and educated, but their money and cultural background are unable to shield them from their emotional turmoil. The locals on the island are the exact opposite, living in poverty but seemingly more connected to their emotions and surroundings. The juxtaposition of the two groups highlights the fragility of the British class system.
The film is not without its flaws, however. The slow pace may make it an unengaging watch for some viewers. The lack of a clear story arc may leave others feeling unsatisfied. But these flaws are minor when weighed against the film's strengths.
Overall, Archipelago is a haunting, thought-provoking film that lingers long after the credits have rolled. It is an exploration of family, identity, and the disconnect that can exist between the two. As a debut feature film, it is an impressive achievement and marks Joanna Hogg as a filmmaker to watch.
Archipelago is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 82.