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Watch Anna Smith’s an exclusive interview with Director Aneil Karia.
Ben Whishaw, as you’ve never seen him before, stars in this exhilarating story of a man slowly losing a grip on reality as he goes on a surreal odyssey of liberation and self-discovery through London. Reminiscent of Joel Schumacher’s 1994 film Falling Down, the combination of his monotonous job, an unstable home life and unrequited feelings for a co-worker unleashes something inside Joseph that sparks a 24-hour-long series of increasingly bizarre encounters. It’s a mesmerising performance from Whishaw, who will have you on the edge of your seat and constantly guessing as to what he will do next.
Developed by the acclaimed emerging writer-director, Aneil Karia, from his award winning short (which also starred Whishaw), Surge benefits from a compelling script and jittery, hand-held camera work to create a delirious sense of mayhem that slowly lets us into Joseph’s disturbed mindset.
For his performance in Surge Ben Whishaw won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
‘As an experiment in steering a potentially tight thriller entirely by one character’s irrational whims, it’s abrasively compelling’ - Guy Lodge, Variety.
’…a fierce, claustrophobic and atmospheric character study with a big pressure-cooker performance from Ben Whishaw… Karia is a smart film-maker and this is a valuable beginning.’ - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.
CIFF audience comments:
‘A gruellingly tense and finely observed thriller about psychological breakdown as liberation in an alienating London fizzing with suppressed violence.’