Surge (15)

Surge (15)

Director: Aneil Karia

Runtime: 105 minutes

Cast: Ben Whishaw, Ellie Haddington, Ian Gelder, Jasmine Jobson

Synopsis: Joseph is trapped in a soulless job, living a life devoid of emotion and meaning. After an impulsive act of rebellion, he goes on a bold and reckless journey of self-liberation in the city of London.


 Ben Whishaw [Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), I’m Not There (2007), Cloud Atlas (2012), The Lobster (2015)] gives a mesmerising acting masterclass as a man careering towards a breakdown in Surge, director Aneil Karia’s feature debut.

Whishaw previously starred for director Aneil Karia in the short film Beat (2014). The two are now reunited for the story of 24 hours in the life of Joseph, a security guard at Stansted airport crumbling under the strain of his job and the pressures of a dysfunctional family. Whishaw’s raw, full-blown performance as the unravelling Joseph is compelling, and Karia makes ambitious use of sound and imagery to immerse us in the jittery, deeply distressing way Joseph experiences the world around him.

Joseph (Ben Whishaw) is trapped in a soulless job, living a life devoid of emotion and meaning. After a confrontation with a disturbed passenger at the airport and a depressing birthday meal with his sullen parents which he flees after breaking a glass in his mouth – an impulsive act which unleashes a wilder, lawless version of himself. Joseph is propelled on a reckless journey through London robbing a bank, trashing a hotel room, gatecrashing a wedding and stealing and crashing a quad bike, before ultimately experiencing what it feels like to be alive.

The cinematography of Stuart Bentley and Whishaw’s beautifully detailed and unnerving performance make for a tight, compelling thriller.

Surge was shown at the Sundance film festival in 2020 and premiered in the UK at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year.

In cinemas and digital platforms.

Images courtesy of Vertigo