Sensitively directed, if a little raw, with overt lyrical echoes of Kes and Dead Man's Shoes informing the sense of kinship with nature and the broken, abusive familial dynamic that provides the typically sombre realist subject matter. Appreciated the use of landscape, these nuanced characters inhabiting the lush greenery of rural Britain, beneath the breadline and essentially alien to capitalist urban milieu.
A brave film that could so easily have gone wrong and descended into either misanthropy or schmaltz. Instead, Stephenson shows great judgement and portrays society's outliers with empathy and sensitivity. Well paced, beautifully filmed and some outstanding acting performances. Excellent directorial debut.
A superb example of gritty British drama in the 21st Century. Moving on from the chimney stacks and cobbled streets of Kitchen Sink dramas, Chicken focuses on the true outliers of society. Watkins and Chambers both give excellent performances as their damaged characters filled with ennui. Often realist dramas lapse into rainy long shots & muted interaction, but Chicken pumps its story with hard hitting, raw emotion.
Although Chicken has likable performances and a good story, it comes across as though it has no confidence in itself by trying to over emphasize with a very poorly used/composed soundtrack. It also slightly cripples itself with a final act so emotionally manipulative with contrived plot devices that it borders on insulting.
Honestly, I really didn't enjoy this film very much. There were some poignant points, and some scenes were very powerful, but for the most part I felt like the acting was weak and unbelievable, especially Yasmin. Felt forced, slightly confusing at points and I just didn't care enough about the characters.