As the title of a film, Carlos Marques-Marcet’s Anchor and Hope raises all sorts of bleak expectations of a film entering maudlin rom-com territory. Fortunately, it is just the name of the East London pub one of its characters pulls pints at. Hold back that sigh of relief for the moment, however; there are still problems here.
Idolatrous millennials Kat and Eva are going steady. They live their lives blissfully detached from reality in a bohemian but cramped houseboat. Its premise is very similar to Marques-Marcet’s previous feature 10,000km, which also saw David Verdaguer star opposite Natalia Tena. But here, things start to fall apart when Eva wants a child that Kat, as a woman, can’t provide alone.
On comes the clownish womanizer Roger, walking into lampposts and making fart jokes. He combines inexpressibly bad facial hair with a very generous and enjoyable performance. In the credits, his hometown Barcelona is recognised as a filming location but none of those scenes make the cut. It would seem that Roger had a backstory at one point but lost it in editing. There seem to’ve been several problems with the making of the film. It is divided into chapters, which is never entirely necessary and makes it seem badly structured.
What is most concerning is the portrayal of broody women as entirely self-centred. There is something inherently misogynist about the very concept that underpins this film. While its screenplay is peppered with some really smart and funny lines, you can’t leave this film without a bitter taste on the tongue.
Don’t get sold into the light-hearted, bittersweet, sugar-coated casing of this film. David Verdaguer’s scene-stealing performance simply can’t save Anchor and Hope from its archaic representation of women. Who let this be made?
CAST: David Verdaguer, Natalia Tena
DIRECTOR: Carlos Marques-Marcet
WRITER: Carlos Marques-Marcet
SYNOPSIS: Eva and Kat are a couple coming to terms with the death of their cat when Kat’s close friend Roger comes to stay. Space is tight on their London houseboat and Eva is not best pleased to have the gregarious, womanising Roger impinging on their space, but then she hits on a plan that will bind the three of them together and sets about executing it with a renewed sense of purpose.[TRAILER FORTHCOMING]