WHAT I LIKED: Paddy Considine's second directorial outing 'Journeyman,' is a thoroughly well-intended but upsetting study of the strain put on two lifes by a sudden case of boxing-induced brain damage, and it's largely a very successful one that will no doubt bring to tears to the eyes on many occasions. Yes after taking itself a while to reveal what it's really about by opening with an exploration of a pre-injury world-champion Matty and his wife Emma, the film quickly becomes a properly tragic watch as Emma struggles to cope with Matty's severe change and the two are ripped apart by the horrors of their circumstance.
What's so great about it all though is that it always has you extremely emotionally involved, and that's largely because Considine mostly favours the use of visual cinema in giving both his and Jodie Whitaker's incredible central performances real room to breathe, and by using simple gestures and clever flashbacks to create real investment in the characters. That's a properly admirable thing for such a new director to do, and it undoubtedly makes Journeyman a very engaging and investing watch throughout and makes the sweet ending all the more powerful overall.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Whilst Considine's script doesn't actually have that much work to do, it does let the film down a bit as it's occasionally a little clunky and means that scenes that could have been significant conversations between characters are cut away from too soon. That adds to the overall sense that things are a little televisual - something that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but does make the whole thing pale slightly in comparison to Considine's debut feature Tyrannosaur.
VERDICT: Whilst not a patch on his striking debut, Paddy Considine's 'Journeyman,' is still a very well-meaning drama where excellent use of visual cinema and two brilliant performances make for a thoroughly affecting and emotional watch overall.