With an artful aesthetic that will please fans of ambitious independent filmmaking, this British drama struggles to match its lush imagery with an oddly simplistic script. Even as it addresses epilepsy with an insider's knowing perspective, the strong, fresh cast never gets to bring out much depth in the characters. Which leaves the movie feeling like little more than an exercise in whizzy camerawork and swirly editing.
It begins in Blackpool, where Lily (Agyness Deyn) is resolutely refusing to update her epilepsy meds, because the new ones make her feel fuzzy. But this means she has frequent seizures. And they only get worse after her mother dies. With help from her boss (Tom Georgeson), she tracks down her big brother Barry (Paul Anderson), who tells her he's planning to sell Mum's house and divide the cash between them. But Lily thinks their black-sheep brother Mikey (Christian Cooke) deserves his share, even though he disappeared four years ago. So she travels to London to find him, having key encounters with a homeless girl (Saffron Coomber), a kindly stranger (Lenora Crichlow) and eventually a sexy young man (Ben Batt) who may know where Mikey is.
The title refers to Lily's seizures, which she describes as an electrical explosion in her brain, and filmmaker Bryn Higgins uses inventive imagery and editing to take the audience right into her perspective. These scenes are harrowing and moving, even if there's no real sense of peril. Not only do we never doubt that Lily will be OK, but we get increasingly annoyed by her nagging naivete in misunderstanding everything and everyone around her. Surely fixing her dosage would help her avoid these devastating seizures. The actors manage to make the most of these oddly underwritten roles as people using whatever is at hand to cope with their miserable lives.
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Gifted runner Shania (Crichlow) lives in a rough London estate, where she trains with a local shopkeeper (Davis). Despite her lack of support, she's one of the fastest athletes in Britain, and qualifies for the team in the run up to the World Championships. She's facing competition from her privileged rival Lisa (Lily James), whose father (Graves) heads up Team GB. Shania is happy running solo and, despite encouragement from coach (Clarke), isn't sure about becoming a team player and joining Lisa, Trix and Belle (Burroughs and Lynch) for the relay event.
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Tough and streetwise Shania Andrews clashes with popular and wealthy Lisa Temple as they both endeavour to qualify for a word athletics championship. They must work together in order to succeed but it is clear that their rivalry and jealousy of each other starts to seriously affect their team's chances of victory. Will Shania and Lisa be able to set aside their differences and beat the US girls running team? Or will their conflict jeopardise both their dreams?
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With an artful aesthetic that will please fans of ambitious independent filmmaking, this British drama...
Lively dialog and realistically played characters help make this sporting drama engaging despite a formulaic...