Kiss Of Life

Disappointing supernatural tearjerker

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OPENED JANUARY 2, CERT 12A, 86 MINS

Somewhere between A Matter Of Life And Death, The Sixth Sense and Truly Madly Deeply, without any of the romance, spookiness or wit of any of the above, lies Brit ghost story Kiss Of Life. Death doesn’t become Helen (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), a young mother in Peckham who dies and then mopes about the house, struggling to let go while her kids cope badly with the loss, barely helped by her addled old grandpa (David Warner). Meanwhile, Helen’s charity-worker husband John (Peter Mullan) makes his way home from a war-torn country, unaware his wife is dead.

One could ascribe the film’s faults to the fact that Katrin Cartlidge, who would have played Helen, died weeks before shooting began. But still, Dapkunaite’s Helen is too snivelly to be very sympathetic, and the script doesn’t offer much by way of emotional punch. Instead, we mostly get wintry moments of melancholy and the odd poignant scene, but not enough to make anyone really care about the characters or their troubles.

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