Beaten (2005, Jon East)

Does the BBC have to dedicate a certain amount of time to socially conscious programming because it’s partially government funded?

I’m not asking that question as a swipe at Beaten, which is an hour-long special about spousal abuse… but it sort of feels like it was made to fulfill a requirement. The plot’s creative, but just because the route from A to B to C is different, if C is the whole point, the route doesn’t matter.

Robson Green and Saira Toddin—both in hard roles, given the twists, do well.

The direction’s too flashy and impressed with digital editing, but it’s generally all right.

The format is what ends up failing Beaten. The story deserves more. Writer Alison Hume does a good job and instead of being an interesting, slightly suspiciously motivated short film, I’m sure she could have written a solid feature. One with texture and layers.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Jon East; written by Alison Hume; director of photography, Dominic Clemence; edited by Steve Singleton; music by Debbie Wiseman; production designer, John Collins; produced by Rob Glassborow; released by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Starring Robson Green (Michael), Saira Todd (Stephanie), Corey J. Smith (Jamie), Judith Barker (Nancy), Helen Kirkby (Carol), Glyn Grain (Peter) and Amy Searles (Lisa).