Login

The Innocent Sleep Review

Image for The Innocent Sleep

Graves is Alan, the down-and-out who catches sight of a businessman being murdered by a group of clean-cut Europeans. With the death passed off as a bizarre suicide, nobody believes him, until he enlists the help of American journo Billie (Sciorra) to uncover the truth as bodies and twists pile up thicker than a whale steak.

★★★★★

First there was the child who sees a murder (Witness). Then there was the mute make-up artist who sees a murder ( Mute Witness). Now it's the turn of a homeless man (Rupert Graves, to be more precise) to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, making for a mildly engaging, but not exactly thrilling, trip through the capital's seamier side.

Inspired by the 1982 Roberto Calvi affair in which the aforementioned Italian was found hanging from Blackfriar's Bridge, Graves is Alan, the down-and-out who catches sight of a businessman being murdered by a group of clean-cut Europeans. With the death passed off as a bizarre suicide, nobody believes him, until he enlists the help of American journo Billie (Sciorra) to uncover the truth as bodies and twists pile up thicker than a whale steak.

As first features go, this is a promising enough effort from Scott Michell making the most of sinister, rain-sodden London locations and conveying how it is possible for an entire city to gang up on one man. Unfortunately events reach a crescendo far too early, and never quite scale the required heights of tension, resulting in a film that is more a comfortable than gripping watch. Moreover the final twist may well send many a cinemagoer blinking into the daylight feeling a mite confused.

Graves and Sciorra make an appealing, albeit largely platonic couple, and it's their presence which helps the action to chug along at its leisurely pace without running out of steam. No world-altering trip, then, but on the strength of this evidence Michell is definitely someone to watch out for in the future.

No world-altering trip, then, but on the strength of this evidence Michell is definitely someone to watch out for in the future.