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Reform Magazine | June 14, 2024

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Reviews March 2024 - Reform Magazine

Reviews March 2024

Scarred for life

Silver Haze
Directed by Sacha Polak
Certificate 15, 102 minutes
Released 29 March

As a small child in real life, the actor Vicky Knight was burned in a fire. Today, her body still bears the physical scars of the trauma she suffered. In Dirty God (2019), her first film with the director Sacha Polak, Knight delivered a bravura performance as the victim of an acid attack.

Polak wanted to further explore Knight’s trauma. The scars are clearly visible on Knight’s body, but what draws you in in Silver Haze is something deeper, her trauma playing out in her interior life. Knight is a gifted and talented actress; one hopes that Polak and other directors can find more roles for her in the future, not necessarily related to her bodily scars.

Knight plays Franky, a 23-year-old East London nurse who never got over the fire in which she was trapped as a child. The incident, discussed but never shown, has left much of her body scarred by severe burns. Her father was having an affair with a woman who,

Franky has convinced herself, started the fire. Franky now seeks closure and revenge – not least because, shortly afterwards, her father abandoned her and her mother to start a new life with the other woman. Franky is unable to move on or forgive.

Franky becomes romantically involved with Florence (Esmé Creed-Miles), a patient from the hospital where she works who has attempted suicide, and is welcomed into Florence’s home by caring foster mum Alice (Angela Bruce) and foster brother Jack (Archie Brigden).

Meanwhile, Franky’s sister Leah (Vicky’s reallife sister Charlotte) has recently embraced Islam and sports a hijab.

Storylines shoot off in all directions, a potential liability Polak turns into an asset, throwing up such unsettling visuals as Franky hurling a Molotov cocktail into her father’s family’s house only to see her young half-brother staring at it in the sitting room.

Franky must attend the Christian funeral of someone who never adhered to that religion, yet who promoted the ideal of looking after others. Can Franky finally let go of her grudge and forgive after all these years?

Jeremy Clarke is a film critic.


This is an extract from an article published in the February 2024 edition of Reform

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