Pelican Blood, which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, is an interesting attempt at making a film about the life and loves of an obsessive birdwatcher and while they try to make the film as cool and sexy as it can be, I found this film to be an overall disappointment due to a basic premise and having an uninspiring story that does not really offer anything new.

Nikko (Harry Treadaway) is a rebellious young man whose destructive attitude is juxtaposed nicely with his hobby as an obsessive birdwatcher, and during the course of the film we see him managing to cope with his recent suicide attempt and build a relationship with anti-animal cruelty campaigner Stevie (Emma Booth).

As we see the two love interests trying to build up their relationship and cope with their own personal difficulties, we see Nikko trying to record a number of five hundred birds with his two mates. While this film tries to become another artistic, gritty film from the UK, the problem I had with the story was that I felt it was stretched too long and while I appreciate what it is trying to do, it felt like it was attempting to be a unique film and the story did not offer anything new nor original.

Having previously written a few episodes for the television film The Bill, Chris Cole has written his first feature-length film and even though he is trying to craft something new for the myriad gritty UK films, his screenplay does suffer with a few problems. The film’s narrative felt as though the film was more based on a series of unconnected events leading to an unclear message; Nikko’s relationship with Stevie and his hobby with his two friends felt quite unconvincing and not really being a hundred percent character-driven at times.

The director, Karl Golden, manages to evoke a dark, artistic style that is visually interesting to watch, Golden manages to use the lighting and colour effects really well to match with the story of the young, disillusioned birdwatcher and by using dark and pale colours to match with the style of lighting.

Visually, the film is good and does try to grab the attention of the audience, but the narrative unfortunately fails the most in trying to become the next biggest gritty, artistic UK drama.

Here’s the official trailer,

Photo: Dean Rogers