Lee Haven Jones (director)
August 19, 2022 (published)
The party opens at a drilling site when we hear a piercing sound that almost knocks out one of the workers. Then move to a large modern house in the countryside where they prepare for a dinner with local dignitaries.
Hired waiter Cadi (Annes Elwy) arrives to help and seems a bit unsure of herself. Which is noted by mother Glenda (Nia Roberts) who, while trying to create a good impression for her guests, is also trying to keep the peace with her MP husband Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) and sons Guto (Steffan Cennydd) and Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies). They don’t like each other much, not helped by Guto with a drug problem and Gweirydd pumping his body for an Ironman event. Neither of them has much interest in dinner.
The food is prepared with barely a word from Cadi (Elwy looks great throughout with little dialogue, his eyes and facial expressions worrying the viewer.) And the guests arrive. It turns out that the idea is to entice the owners of a neighboring farm to sell part of their land for development. As the evening turns to night, who Cadi is and why she is there begins to dawn on the party.
The Feast is a carefully constructed film with the brutalist lines of the new home and interiors complementing the dysfunctional family. Both are cold and sterile, devoid of any feeling for their surroundings, both there to fulfill a need. Cadi says very little but opens them slowly. It soon becomes clear where this takes place and what the main theme of the film is.
It’s an unsettling watch that could have run into trouble if it got too artistic, though that gets pushed aside as the film progresses towards mythological and, dare we say, folkloric horror. All mixed with a critique of the abuse of wealth and power. With beautiful interior and exterior photography by Bjørn Bratberg and terrific sound design, this is a surefire debut from Lee Haven Jones, based on a screenplay by Roger Williams.