Jamie Robson, Seyan Sarvan, Aurora Fearnley
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Ross A. Wilson
As I reached the halfway point of Ross A. Wilson's paranoia-tinged thriller Spin State, I found myself mumbling to no one in particular "This really is a British thriller." While this isn't a bad thing, in fact I find myself a fan of nearly all things related to British cinema, Spin State is such a complex, thoughtful thriller that it may very well qualify as one of the most meditative thrillers to date.
The story centers around Kline (Jamie Robson), a slightly off-kilter private eye hired by a woman named Dana (Seyan Sarvan) to investigate her estranged husband, Hans (Carsten Clemens), a mysterious chap who saunters about investigating abandoned defense facilities and similar areas in support of his work around "advance spin statistics." The wife is an equal intellectual who works to bring Kline up to speed and resembling something close to normalcy so he can accomplish the task at hand. I suppose I should give credit that at least Kline's not the one doing any mansplaining here.
There are other figures who pop in and out of Spin State, such as Kline's partner Archer (Will Harrison-Wallace) and a rather snoopy doctor (Aurora Fearnley), but all of this adds up to very little in the way of suspense, thrills, or much in the way of action.
Spin State picked up the Remi Award at Worldfest Houston and Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography from the Canadian Cinematography Awards in May 2021. Indeed, lensing by Ross A. Wilson and James Chisholm is top-notch and the film is beautiful to look at from beginning to end. Robson gives an introspective performance as Kline, avoiding paranoid caricatures in favor of a quietly unnerving turn that leaves him looking and feeling unpredictable throughout.
Picked up by indie distributor Random Media, Spin State is now available via all your usual streaming outlets. For those looking for a hardcore, action-packed thriller you'd best look elsewhere. Spin State is a more thoughtful, intellectually satisfying thriller where most of the thrills come from disturbances within.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic