Writing this on Thursday because I have zero time tomorrow. The title comes from the mind of the incomparable Michael Stevens. It’s a one of those small British independent films in which the title has very little to do with the film itself. *wow totally forgot to just click publish at some point today.
The movie begins with a slow empty shot of a swing set in the park. No one is in the shot, and the swing is moving slowly back and forth. Muffled screams are heard in the background.Shot fades back to black.
Lights fade back in on an older man (60s) sitting in a chair on his porch. He is watching kids play in the street as the camera pans around the neighborhood. It settles on a two mothers having a cigarette. They are talking about the old man, Mr. Brask. The parents of the neighborhood think he is a creep and they generally keep their kids away from his house.
Camera pans around again and we see a family moving into the house next to the old man. A woman is unpacking and her small son runs around. He comes up to the old man and starts to talk to him. The old man says little. The young boy, Chris, is friendly and inquisitive. His mother calls him over to help carry things.
Next day is Chris’ first day at his new school. Some of the kids tease him led by two from his block. Chris is smart but has no friends. They joke about his dad who was a sailor and died. The other kids suck. Heading back home they tease him more and don’t invite him to play football. He heads over to Mr. Brask’s place where Brask sits on the porch. Brask ignores Chris and tells him to stay away from him.
Chris heads outside and is picked on some more by the neighborhood kids. Brask watches. Later that night over dinner his mom tries to get him to talk about school but their relationship isn’t great. She starts to talk about Brask and how the other mothers say Chris should stay away from him. Chris says he thinks Mr. Brask is not a bad man and just lonely.
Next day Chris is picked on again on his way home. Brask watches again and is about to head inside. He overhears on of the other kids mention Chris’ sailor father and stops in his tracks. He yells stop and all the other kids freeze. He walks off his porch and the other kids run scared. He picks a crying Chris off the ground and walks him into the house. Chris looks around and we see naval shit all over the place. Pictures of Brask in the Royal Navy and of his family are all around.
He talks to Chris about his father and how he use to be a sailor too. Chris asks about his family and Brask says his wife and son died years ago in an accident. He’s been living alone and keeping to himself since. Chris asks him what his rank was. Brask was a Midshipman. Chris heads home.
His mom questions him again over dinner. Chris doesn’t say much so his mom continues about what she has heard about Brask and how he shouldn’t be allowed in such a young neighborhood. Chris yells and defends Brask and his mom sends him to his room.
The next day he runs home and goes right to Brask’s place. The two talk more about the sea and Chris’s problems with the neighborhood kids. The two start to bond. Chris’ mom knocks on the door and is upset Chris was there. He pulls her out. Back at their place one of the fathers of the neighborhood, who is also a cop lectures Chris about Mr. Brask. Brask has a violent past and his family is dead because he drunkenly crashed their car. He was discharged from the Navy for fighting and isn’t a good person. Chris runs to his room.
Next day Chris heads to Brasks’ place but isn’t allowed in. Chris cries and runs off. He sits in the playground on the swings and weeps. The other kids find him there and taunt him. He tries to fight them off but they over power him. They are kicking the crap out of him until Brask steps in and takes them off Chris. Brask throws a kids off and he hits his head on a rock. The others run off and we see the one kid died.
Chris is scared and the neighborhood approaches them. Brasks cries and tells Chris he is sorry, that he tried, but he has always been a monster. Chris hugs Brask before the cops take him away. Shot of the swings again, muffled cries.