On a night out in Liverpool Kelly and Victor meet on the dance floor and are instantly drawn to each other. It is not long before their dancing in the nightclub moves to the bedroom and they spend an intensely passionate night together. It’s all very raw and real and as such the course of true love does not run smooth.
Kelly + Victor is adapted from a novel by Niall Griffiths and so is a mostly internal story. Love is a complex beast and with a romance as frantic and fast as that between Kelly and Victor it can be hard for anyone outside the couple to get a real sense of how they are feeling. While some romantic films find a way to let the audience in on the emotional side of their characters Kelly + Victor left me cold.
For me the experience was wholly unemotional. I was watching two bland characters spend little time together and yet treat their relationship as the great tragic romance of the 21st century. Maybe I am being cynical and unromantic but I couldn’t see a reason why both parties couldn’t walk away from their fling and move on with their lives. Yes, their lives were far from perfect but the film never gave me a sense that the couple were right for each other or showed that they connected on any level deeper than that of a typical one night stand.
You will find positive reviews out there but for whatever reason I found Kelly + Victor to be a disappointing film; the leads were hard to connect to and the visuals were uninspiring. Film is an art form and I can only offer a subjective opinion. It feels mean to be dismissive of any director’s first film so let me end with this caveat – Kelly + Victor got a great response from the rest of the audience but for me was indulgent, navel-gazing, and needlessly bleak without having any real heart. Plus I was in a bit of a mood when I watched it.