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Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson

Hide and Seek: A Romantic Drama About Four Young Londoners Who Escape to a Cottage

Hide and Seek (2014): A Review of the Award-Winning Romantic Drama

If you are looking for a film that challenges social conventions and explores the complexities of human relationships, you might want to check out Hide and Seek, a 2014 British-American romantic drama film directed by Joanna Coates and co-written by Coates and Daniel Metz. The film won the Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of what the film is about, who are the main actors and filmmakers, what are the main themes and messages of the film, and how it compares and contrasts with other similar films in the genre. We will also provide you with a plot summary, a critical analysis, and a conclusion with our overall impression and rating of the film.

hide and seek (2014)


What is Hide and Seek about?

Hide and Seek (released as Amorous in the United States) is a film that follows four young people from London who move in together in an isolated cottage in the countryside, seeking to challenge social norms and their own tolerances by engaging in scheduled partner-swapping. The film explores how their unconventional utopia is tested by the arrival of an outsider who fails to get in tune with their radical spirit, and how they cope with the consequences and challenges of their choices.

Who are the main actors and filmmakers?

The film features four relatively unknown actors who deliver convincing and natural performances. Josh O'Connor plays Max, a charismatic leader who initiates the experiment. Hannah Arterton plays Charlotte, a confident and adventurous woman who joins Max. Rea Mole plays Leah, a shy and sensitive artist who falls for Max. Daniel Metz plays Jack, a quiet and reserved musician who is drawn to Leah. Joe Banks plays Simon, a friend of Max who visits them unexpectedly.

The film is directed by Joanna Coates, a British filmmaker who made her feature debut with this film. She also co-wrote the script with Daniel Metz, who also produced the film. The film is shot by Ben Hecking, edited by Maya Maffioli, and scored by Paul Wallfisch.

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What are the main themes and messages of the film?

The film explores various themes such as love, freedom, identity, sexuality, jealousy, trust, communication, fantasy, reality, utopia, dystopia, individuality, conformity, isolation, community, etc. The film does not provide clear answers or judgments on these themes, but rather invites the viewers to reflect on their own opinions and experiences. The film also questions the boundaries and expectations of romantic relationships in modern society, and challenges the viewers to think outside the box.

Plot summary

How do the four young people meet and decide to live together?

The film begins with Max meeting Charlotte at a party in London. They have an instant attraction and decide to leave together. On their way out, they bump into Leah and Jack, who are also looking for an escape from their mundane lives. Max invites them to join him and Charlotte in his car. They drive to an isolated cottage in the countryside that belongs to Max's uncle. What are the rules and rituals of their unconventional lifestyle?

Once they arrive at the cottage, Max proposes a radical idea: they should live together as a commune, sharing everything, including their partners. He suggests that they should have a schedule of who sleeps with whom every night, and that they should never talk about their feelings or their pasts. He also introduces them to a game of hide and seek, where they have to find each other in the dark and have sex with whoever they find. The others agree to try out his experiment, hoping to find a new way of living and loving.

How does the arrival of an outsider disrupt their harmony?

Their idyllic existence is disrupted when Simon, a friend of Max, shows up unannounced. Simon is a conventional and conservative person who does not understand or appreciate their lifestyle. He is also attracted to Charlotte, who is the only one who seems to have doubts about the experiment. Simon tries to convince Charlotte to leave with him, but she refuses. He also tries to expose the secrets and lies of the others, creating tension and conflict among them.

What are the consequences and challenges of their choices?

As the film progresses, the four young people face various consequences and challenges of their choices. They start to develop feelings for each other that go beyond the physical, but they are afraid to express them or break the rules. They also start to question their own identities and desires, and wonder if they are truly happy or just escaping from reality. They also have to deal with the external pressures and judgments of society, such as the police, the neighbors, and Simon. They realize that their utopia is not as perfect as they thought, and that they have to face the truth sooner or later.

Critical analysis

How does the film explore the concepts of love, freedom, and identity?

The film explores the concepts of love, freedom, and identity in a nuanced and provocative way. It shows how love can be different for different people, and how it can be expressed in various forms and degrees. It also shows how freedom can be both liberating and limiting, depending on how one uses it and what one sacrifices for it. It also shows how identity can be fluid and flexible, but also confusing and challenging, especially when one tries to fit into a group or a role.

How does the film use cinematography, music, and editing to create a mood and atmosphere?

The film uses cinematography, music, and editing to create a mood and atmosphere that matches the tone and theme of the film. The film uses natural lighting, handheld camera work, long takes, and close-ups to create a realistic and intimate feel. The film also uses soft colors, warm tones, and rural landscapes to create a contrast between the beauty and simplicity of nature and the complexity and chaos of human emotions. The film also uses a minimalistic score composed by Paul Wallfisch that consists of piano, guitar, and cello melodies that evoke a sense of melancholy, nostalgia, and longing.

How does the film compare and contrast with other similar films in the genre?

The film compares and contrasts with other similar films in the genre of romantic drama that deal with unconventional relationships and lifestyles. Some examples are Y Tu Mamá También (2001), The Dreamers (2003), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013), etc. The film shares some similarities with these films in terms of plot, characters, themes, and style. However, the film also differs from these films in some aspects. For instance, the film is more subtle and less explicit than some of these films in terms of showing sex scenes. The film is also more ambiguous and less conclusive than some of these films in terms of resolving the conflicts and dilemmas of the characters.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the film?

The strengths of the film are its originality, its realism, its performances, its cinematography, its music, its dialogue, its humor, its emotionality, its ambiguity, its complexity, its provocation, its reflection, etc. The weaknesses of the film a


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