It Snows in Benidorm – Film Review

Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, It Snows in Benidorm is a drama film that stars Timothy Spall and Sarita Choudhury.

After being forced to retire from his bank job in Manchester, England, Peter Riordan (Timothy Spall) decides that it is finally time to visit his brother in Benidorm, Spain. When he arrives though, his brother has vanished. While in Benidorm, Peter finds out that his brother owns a club featuring burlesque dancers, and among them is Alex (Sarita Choudhury), who Peter falls in love with.

Although the premise is very interesting, the film felt long. I think a lot of this comes down to the fact that the characters are unfortunately rather one-dimensional. I would have liked to have seen a little more personality injected into the characters.

I did however enjoy the beautiful cinematography and colours throughout the film, as well as the clever narrative regarding Peter’s dispositions. When Peter is in Manchester, the weather is cloudy, dull, and the mood is sombre. However, when Peter is in Benidorm, the weather is sunny, which smartly shows his change in moods. Despite his brother being missing, Peter is happy that he has met Alex.

I was hoping that the film would explore further on the disappearance of Peter‘s brother. It is part of the narrative after all, and while this is certainly touched upon, it is not the film’s main focus. I personally would have preferred it had the film had gone into more detail.

Instead, It Snows in Benidorm focuses more on the budding relationship between Peter and Alex. Both characters are lonely and sad but for different reasons, yet can relate to each other, which helps build their relationship dynamic. This alone, however, is not enough to keep the film interesting in it’s almost two-hour duration, which is why I would have liked a little more attention on the mystery of Peter‘s missing brother.

There is also an awkward burlesque performance from Sarita Choudhury’s character Alex. It is awkward because it doesn’t look like it was choreographed well, if at all, and Choudhury doesn’t look comfortable nor confidant while performing the burlesque scene either.

It Snows in Benidorm has a clever premise, impressive cinematography, and some marvellous acting performances, particularly from Spall. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to enjoy it, the film lets itself down with some pacing issues and lacks any charisma and charm.

It Snows in Benidorm is in Australian cinemas now.

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