Looking For Eric

by

Director – Ken Loach

Writer – Paul Laverty

Starring – Steve Evets, Eric Cantona

Synopsis

The plot revolves around a football fanatic postman Eric Bishop (Evets) whose life is descending into crisis. Looking after his granddaughter is bringing him into contact with his ex-wife, and his stepson is hoarding a gun for a local gangster. At his weakest moments, when he considers suicide, his hallucinations bring forth visits from his footballing hero, the famously philosophical Eric Cantona.

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Review

Whilst spending several hours attempting to write this review, I’ve found that I have little to say about this little film. The performances are good, including a surprise solid performance from Cantona, the direction is fine and everything seems to be up to standard. I think that what is missing from this film is ambition.

The story takes place in middle England, following Eric Bishop who’s life is in crisis. It’s not exactly glamorous, epic or even very thought-provoking and although he has “never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood” it’s difficult to see what Ken Loach saw in the script to make him want to direct it. I have to question whether the films plot, albeit an independent feature, deserves such exposure as it did, or whether it would feel more at home being showcased on an ITV channel.

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Having said this, there is an interesting scene involving Eric Bishop asking Eric Cantona what his best football moment was. Although not a football fan myself, the intensity of Eric’s descriptions along with the footage of each play makes for interesting cinema indeed. It’s a shame the rest of the film, including the final scene, couldn’t deliver on this level.

To sum up – With few bright spots to speak of and a less than cinematic climax, Looking For Eric achieves about exactly what it was able to from the script. The relationships seem genuine enough, but this little film about friendship might just be too genuine to care about.

Verdict – If there’s nothing else on give it a chance, just don’t expect to be blown away.

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