03 January 2015

Solstice: The Night Before Christmas (starring Mike Kelley)

I picked this up inexpensively in a charity shop, intrigued both by the title and by the front cover. It claimed to be a Christmas story, rated PG and a double award winner. Sounded ideal...

We thought it would be good to watch at the start of the new year, although we were a little surprised to notice that it was only 47 minutes long. We were even more surprised and a bit disappointed to realise that it was evidently a low budget film, with rather poor sound quality and not the greatest of photography.

Still, the plot seemed promising at first. The main character, Nick (Mike Kelly) is disillusioned by Christmas. He doesn’t want to get in touch with his parents, he hasn’t bought any presents, and he finds carol singers annoying. I didn’t quite understand why his apartment is decorated for Christmas, but it turns out that he recently broke up with his girlfriend. So, as he keeps saying, he’s lost the Christmas spirit.

The story, such as it is, takes place on Christmas Eve and we see Nick through the day, interacting with his colleagues, a few friends and random strangers. He seems a likeable person, who cares about others - and really, that’s the problem. He doesn’t come across as depressed or fed up - just mildly bored.

There’s no real conflict in the film, and nothing much happens. It’s a day-in-the-life cameo of an ordinary guy who eventually finds something that gives him a bit of hope. It’s not schmalzy or exaggerated; nor is it Christian. It doesn't even have anything to do with the Winter Solstice despite the title. It’s also not very interesting. It was obvious that something was going to trigger him to feel a bit better about himself, and there’s quite a nice scene towards the end, although it all looks very dated. It was made in 1994 but it looks like something out of the ‘70s.

I didn’t dislike it. But I can’t imagine wanting to see it again.

Review by copyright 2015 Sue's DVD Reviews

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