Brown Willy


Brown Willy

An o-region production in association with Falmouth University

Written and Directed by Brett Harvey

Fans of Brett Harvey’s writing and his sometimes silly, often dark, but always entertaining productions have waited expectantly for the follow up to Weekend Retreat. The wait is finally over, with Brown Willy due to be unleashed in cinemas across Cornwall at the end of April. Audiences will laugh out loud, squirm, groan, but will also thoroughly enjoy the sheer breadth and depth of this monochrome Cornish epic. Shot on wildly beautiful Bodmin Moor, the story revolves around lifelong friends Pete and Michael who head for the moor on Michael’s stag do where they plan to climb Brown Willy. Pete, the loud and lairy half of the duo who refuses to behave like a 40 something, is brilliantly played by Simon Harvey with deadpan genius Ben Dyson as the sensible Michael who got his life sorted out, has a good job and is marrying the woman he loves.
Before they venture onto the stark depths of Bodmin Moor, the friends discover a pub where Pete persuades Michael to stop for a quick pint. Inevitably this turns into a booze ridden session before they stagger off into unknown territory on the moor to continue the party. The morning after their drink and drug fuelled night, the friendship starts to unravel and we begin to understand the chasm that exists between the two men when they become lost, disorientated, angry and frustrated. Disaster follows chaos, honesty hurts and Michael has a long list of unpleasant home truths to reveal to Pete, including the very reason why the stag party involves the two of them on the moor away from friends and family.
Witnessing the disintegration of the friendship between Pete and Michael brings a touch of sadness to the story; although Pete is an irritating prat it is hard to watch his face break as realisation dawns that he isn’t the popular party animal he believes himself to be.
There is a third star in this film – the rugged, bleakness of Bodmin Moor itself fills the screen, with panoramic shots of the harsh land, wintry clouds scudding across the skyline and the whistling wind ever present on the sound track makes simply stunning viewing. Brett’s terrific writing leaves plenty of scope for his cinematic prowess behind the camera, allowing the moor a strong visual role without detracting from the story.
Brown Willy is gloriously debauched, rough, filthy fun with an ultimate poignancy in the final scene that is so beautifully acted and filmed the audience is stunned into silence.
Brown Willy opens for a week from April 29th at all WTW Cinemas across Cornwall, don’t miss it.

Sheila Vanloo
April 2016

Article by: Sheila V