In this digital landscape, dating feels like the world feels like everything is on the table. People vapidly scroll through pictures and absorb so much information of a potential loved one that it seems we know who we are dating before we even meet them. But we don’t, really, do we? There are often issues and problems that many people are going through that we don’t uncover in the beginning. But what would happen if we did? What would happen if we got Real?
That’s the point of this latest British indie film.
Directed and written by Aki Omoshaybi, Real revolves around Kyle (Omoshaybi) and Jamie (Pippa Bennett-Warner) who meet by chance in an unremarkable newsagent in Portsmouth. Instantly, there is chemistry and they are both keen to start dating. However, both of them are facing their own struggles such as single parenthood, finding a job, and familial issues.
Omoshaybi has a lot of potential and that is clear in his humanistic work here. Real is about two people trying to connect over very raw issues without overtly focusing one. This somewhat simplistic approach allows us to see the fragments of a person. In this case, two people are trying to fuse themselves back together from past mistakes and issues. It works, weaving many different problems through the trials of a romantic relationship.
At places the dialogue feels a bit forced which falters the acting. There are some uneven flashbacks as well which would’ve suited a subtler reveal. The small runtime also means there isn’t enough exploration of Perhaps that is the point but certain aspects such as alcoholism or a past crime feel weakly slid in here and could’ve worked with a bit more flesh upon them.
For a low-budget, soft indie film, Real is a pleasant and nice journey. If anything, Omoshaybi showcases a lot of potential in his work here. Even if it isn’t fully realised.
Real is out in cinemas and on Digital now.