One of the things I love about watching indie films is that the plot hasnt been talked about in every magazine, podcast, website and social media outlet. Going into most indie films, you might know the basics but there are still so many ‘gems’ that are just waiting to be discovered before your eyes and ears. Of course the downside to a lot of indie films is that not as many people are talking about some of the films as they should be and Hard Tide is definitely one of the films that more people should be talking about. I heard about Hard Tide last year when I saw a mention of Mem Ferda being attached to it. I have seen Mem in a few films over the years including The Crew (also starring Scot Williams), Plastic (starring Will Poulter), The Veteran (starring Toby Kebbell), Ill Manors (starring Ben Drew), and Hyena (starring Stephen Graham) and that’s just naming a few. Check out Mem’s filmography. A seriously busy guy who’s been in some great films. Anyway, I’m digressing. I purchased the DVD of Hard Tide this week and this morning popped it into the DVD player, expecting to watch a pretty good film featuring drug deals, handguns and mid level violence. I hadn’t read into the plot, I generally don’t like to. If I am going to watch a film then I watch it. I don’t need to do research beforehand. So what did I think of Hard Tide?
If I make a list this year of ‘films you should watch’ then Hard Tide is going to be on it. As I mentioned, I thought I was going to see drug deals, mid level violence and handguns and all three of those are in fact in Hard Tide but what I didn’t expect was what I got. Hard Tide isn’t just another drug deal, thug movie (and trust me. I watch enough of those) this film has it all. Its beautifully shot and a lot of the time it has this wonderful ‘old movie’ style to it with sun reflections and lighting tricks making the film look far more impressive than a lot of films I’ve seen recently. If I say that a lot of the film reminded me 1970’s films, then I mean that as a compliment. I love that look of Hard Tide. The hard part for me is to talk about a lot of the other aspects of the film that I liked, because I went into this film thinking it would be one thing, and being totally surprised that there was far more to Hard Tide than I initially thought.
The plot took turns that I didn’t know about (and I dont mean in a ‘he sees dead people ‘ manner. I’m not talking about plot twists. I’m talking about plot development. Nathanael Wiseman is great as ‘Jake’ who is the lead in the film. I only realised when the end credits rolled that Nathanael (along with Robert Osman) wrote and directed the film. ‘Jake’ shouldn’t be a likeable character because he deals drugs for a living, but he breaks that stereotypical drug dealer role that so often isn’t broken in films. He is a person who has a conscience and who cares for other things in life, not just money. It doesn’t take long for the audience to care about Jake, and thats down to the writing of his story and of course the performance by Nathanael. Sequel please!!!!!
The rest of the cast are great. There is a single scene very early on with Ralph Brown which actually was the first moment in the film where I realised how clever the writing was in Hard Tide and that I was in for something different. But it wasnt the last time I realised how smart the writing was. Sean Cronin pops up in Hard Tide too and hes always great in whatever he does, whether it be in Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation, or Hackneys Finest. Newcomer Alexandra Newick is great as ‘Jade’ and hopefully this will lead to more roles for her. Actually there isn’t anything I could fault about Hard Tide. I had tension, it had dark humour, it had charm. Hard Tide was a great way to start my day (I started watching it at 8am). Do check it out, let me know what you think and if you like it (and hopefully you will) then leave a nice review on IMDB or Itunes. Wherever you purchased the film from.
The DVD contains special features which I shall be watching today at some point.
Directors Commentary with Robert Osman and Nathanael Wiseman,
Below the Tide Interviews,
Original “My Hero” Short Film,
“When I Fall” Music Video, Raindance
Premiere Cast & Crew Interviews,
Raindance VIP Interviews
Hard Tide is available on DVD, Sky, ITunes, Amazon, Sony, Google and XBox.