My Feral Heart on DVD – The DVDfever Review

My Feral Heart

My Feral Heart centres around Luke (Steven Brandon, in a superb performance), a young lad with Down’s Syndrome, who dotes on his sick mother and is looking after her in the best way he can. However, life is never fair, and when she passes away, life is going to change more than he ever expected, as the world he knows is ripped away from him.

Early on, it’s very sad when Luke’s at a loss for what to do in his situation, other than call 999. Circumstances lead to him having to leave the family home and place him in the alien world of social care, which is also a system that’s been chronically underfunded by successive governments for as long as I can remember.

Once there, the mere look of disgust on his face, at the situation, tells 1000 words, as does his reaction to everything stopping him from going about his life the way he wants – even down to simply going out to the shops.

Although struggling to ingratiate himself into the machinations of the home, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pete (Will Rastall), who’s out and about doing community service for a misdemeanour we have yet to discover, add in superb support from Shana Swash and Pixie Le Knot, and I’ve only referenced just half the story as there’s more to find out.

I remember Mark Kermode enthusing about this at the time, as it’s yet another low-budget movie which only had a limited release in cinemas when it deserved far more, and I always find it annoying that films like this get short shrift from the major cinema chains, while superhero nonsense like Age Of Avengers: Dawn Of Justice is dominating 99% of the screens in the first week of their release.


Care home worker Eve (Shana Swash) with Luke (Steven Brandon)


With an evocative score from Inspector Morse composer Barrington Pheloung, My Feral Heart is very sweet, and once it’s finished, you want to spend more time in their company. Then again, while the film could’ve been extended with other footage presumably shot, it’s a rare film that keeps a tight length of time, not outstaying its welcome, and leaving you wanting more. This is such that film.

Given that it’s not the sort of film which would spawn a sequel, I always enjoy it when the same cast and crew work together on a new production, so I would very much welcome that.

Note that the film is a 12 certificate, and it used to be that such a film could not have more than four f-words within, hence why A Good Day To Die Hard only kept in four, badly replacing the rest with “Jeez!” as well as having muffle out the complete version of his famous catchphrase. The only exception I knew of that was The King’s Speech, but the extra ones were allowed because they were part of Colin Firth’s stuttering. There’s about five or six in this movie, but they’re mostly concentrated in one scene, with no particular offending material at any other time in the movie, so I think a 12 is right, overall. Given the way the BBFC work, perhaps a more mainstream movie would’ve been given a 15-cert, but this indie has escaped with a 12.

Also, referring back to Mark Kermode again, at the start of 2017, My Feral Heart was also the biggest success for Our Screen – a guaranteed way of seeing films on the big screen as long as enough people sign up for it and pay for their tickets in advance. His video about this is below, and I recommend watching that instead of his review – elsewhere on his channel, as in the latter he gives what I considered a spoiler, for something I have not discussed in my own review.

This movie is an outstanding piece of film-making and a must-see. I really need to watch it again soon, this time not while trying to make notes for a review, and I know that future screenings will provide dividends.

Note: This review is just for the film only.

Film score: 9/10

My Feral Heart has taken quite some time to come to any home viewing format – just over a year since its cinema release, as it’s out today on Amazon Video and DVD, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.


Kermode Uncut: Our Screeen


Cert:
Running time: 83 minutes
Year: 2015
Distributor: Studio Soho Distribution
Released: November 27th 2017
Widescreen: 1.78:1 (16:9)

Director: Jane Gull
Producers: Jane Gull, Duncan Paveling and James Rumsey
Screenplay: Duncan Paveling
Music: Barrington Pheloung

Cast:
Luke: Steven Brandon
Pete: Will Rastall
Eve: Shana Swash
The Girl: Pixie Le Knot
Margaret: Suzanna Hamilton
Joan: Eileen Pollock
Sam: Darren Kent
Hunt Steward: Jason Wright
Telephone Operator: Sara Dee
William: Keith Chanter
Charlie: Lewis Nicolas
Brandon: Edward Wilkinson
Yvonne: Jill Keen
Community Payback Worker: Matt Markham
Community Payback Worker: Christian Taylor
The Supervisor: Joe Gooch

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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