Keeping Rosy (2014)
Keeping Rosy (2014)
Director: Steve Reeves
Cast: Blake Harrison, Maxine Peake, Elisa Lasowski
Synopsis: All Charlotte wants from life is to be cut a slice of the media agency she has devoted herself to building. When Charlotte’s life disintegrates, we follow her on a heart-racing journey of self-discovery, atonement and danger.
WARNING! This review contains SPOILERS!
It doesn’t take long to figure out the kind of woman Charlotte (Maxine Peake) is. She lives in a luxury high-rise flat bereft of personal touches. It overlooks a building site which Charlotte emotionlessly contemplates after completing what appears to be a regimented early morning routine of exercise and preparation for work. She’s attractive only in a brittle way, like a fragile ornament, and her angular features lack warmth or any trace of compassion. She’s career driven, and experiences a noticeable awkwardness around a new baby brought into the office by a former colleague. Charlotte is a woman who has built a wall around herself that is as high and secure as that high rise block of flats in which she lives.
But such defences can be breached, and when Charlotte learns not only that she’s been passed over for promotion but also unceremoniously dumped from the business she helped to build, her life quickly begins to unravel. Losing her job would be bad enough, but she returns home to find Maya, her East European cleaning lady (Elisa Lakowski), defying her express instructions by smoking in her flat as she works. A bad day becomes immeasurably worse when a fight between the two women ends with Maya dead on the floor of Charlotte’s flat…
From a strong start, Keeping Rosy slowly descends into a mass of contrived situations which test the patience of all but the most undemanding viewer. Mike Oughton’s plot is riddled with holes from the moment Charlotte whacks her hapless cleaner over the head with a bottle of champagne she mistakenly believes the girl has stolen from her flat. A certain amount of unclear thinking in the depths of such a nightmarish scenario is understandable, and it’s inevitable that mistakes will be made as they attempt to cover their tracks. But even if one can swallow the idea of Charlotte dragging her victim’s body, wrapped in a sleeping bag, out of her apartment block and across the city to a river bank without encountering another human being, that she would forget about the security CCTV cameras filming every corridor is beyond belief.
That’s just the beginning of Charlotte’s (and Oughton’s) gaffes, however. The film can just get away with the failure of anybody to report Maya’s disappearance, despite someone caring enough about her to hand-deliver a birthday card and a bottle of champagne, but not that Charlotte would then choose to keep the baby which her victim left sitting in her car in the basement car park. The idea of a person rediscovering their compassion and humanity through an act of murder is quite clever and original, but the means by which Oughton endeavours to bring about such an occurrence are too contrived to be convincing, despite Peake’s sterling efforts.
The small cast is rounded out by The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison as a chillingly chirpy but seedy security guard who tries to blackmail Charlotte when he stumbles upon her secret, and Christine Bottomley as Charlotte’s chavvy sister, whose arrival lends some context to the reasons behind Charlotte’s cold nature. Each does well with their parts, but their arrival marks the point where Keeping Rosy finally abandons its pretence at a character-driven story by resorting to genre clichés and a hurried ending which is paradoxically both inevitable and unconvincing.
(Reviewed 8th May 2015)