Open-Minded Viewing Experience Required: A Field in England (2013)

Director/Editor Ben Wheatley said he wanted to assault audiences with ambiguous imagery and narrative. Wheatley succeeded with A Field in England, placing audiences into a figurative void of mystery.

In chaotic battlefields of the English Civil War, Whitehead and three newly found acquaintances track the open fields with the developed purpose of finding treasure. Though A Field in England is not so cut and dry, with instability flowing through the narrative and ourselves. A Field in England detaches connections to any character by a variety of bizarre scenes and ambiguity towards its narrative space.

The vast, open landscape captured on widescreen with black and white cinematography makes for displacement towards the characters by fixating ourselves to the setting. This is enhanced by psychedelic notions in behaviour and editing placing one’s mindset to fever pitch interpreting various meanings. A Field in England is begging for interpretation, having an open mind will result in a world of good.

Some have complained that A Field in England has a weak plot to justify its turbulent nature. Going back to having an open mind, if you interpret then ideas will come. The journey taken by Whitehead seems to be a test of faith. Attempting to stay true to the principles he holds dear. It’s not as if the acting was inefficient in concocting a plot. Particular mentions go to Reece Shearsmith giving vulnerability towards the directionless notions Whitehead experiences and Michael Smiley as the devilish antagonist O’Neil.

A Field in England certainly will not meet everybody’s criteria for viewing entertainment but it should have benefit of the doubt.

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