Starring: Anthony Mark Streeter, Nathan Hamilton, Russell Barnett
Director: Anthony Z. James
Running Time: 85 mins
Ghost is a British film about a man who, on his first after release from prison, seeks to reconnect with his son, while coping with the inevitability of his dark past catching up with him.
Impressive not only considering its budget and small production scale, Ghost delivers genuinely gripping drama and poignant emotion in sleek fashion throughout, proving the immense potential of even the smallest films.
Shot entirely on a smartphone, it’s really quite incredible just how cinematic and spectacular this film looks. With brilliant cinematography and visual style throughout, Ghost lends a sleek, almost imposing edge to the city of London, heightening the emotional intensity of its story enormously.
Many London crime dramas will use a down-to-earth, gritty portrayal of the city to drive their stories home, but the way that this film avoids that in favour of something a little more poignant is particularly telling of why it’s such a powerful and memorable watch.
Uniquely pensive and patient for its genre, the film looks at the nature of a complicated father-son relationship and the vestiges of a troubled past in gripping fashion, fostering challenging, powerful and often strikingly uncomfortable dramatic depth throughout.
The lead performance from Anthony Mark Streeter is fantastic, as he manages to strike a perfect balance between some of the more generic gritty sensibilites of the film’s story and something a lot more profound, while Nathan Hamilton, who plays his son, also impresses with a steely and strong-willed turn that more than matches up to Streeter.
Couple those excellent performances with a riveting screenplay and a perfectly pitched atmosphere brought to life by director Anthony Z. James, and Ghost really has a lot to offer on a deep, emotional level – not to mention its profound, almost transcendent musical score that puts you in a trance from the very start of the film.
For a film shot on such a small scale and with such a small budget, I was blown away by how masterful Ghost was. It’s a gripping watch that blends more generic sensibilities with profound, challenging drama, while it also delivers deeply poignant emotion through its use of atmosphere, score, cinematography and performances. And with all that considered, it really is an impressive watch, which is why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.