And Then Come The Nightjars: Review

And Then Come The Nightjars: Review

Jeff (Nigel Hastings) is a vet making his living in Dartmoor. However, his personal life is far from as good as his professional one as his wife is on the verge of leaving him. His life is changing in ways he couldn’t imagine. Michael (David Fielder) is a farmer who’s equally living an idyllic life, although his wife died some years ago, he still works and his friendship with Jeff is part of what keeps him going.

However, due to a widespread outbreak of foot and mouth disease Michael’s livelihood is put into danger and so is his friendship with Jeff.

And Then Come the Nightjars is a touching drama directed by Paul Robinson and written by Bea Roberts, adapted from her play of the same name. Set in 2001, it feels like the seriousness of the situation between Michael and Jeff may get worse, however as the play goes on, the film shows there’s still light at the end of the tunnel.

Being adapted from a two-handed play, it’s the chemistry between Hastings and Fielder which drive the film. Everything from their most dramatic conflicts to the heart-warming connection between the two men translates wonderfully to the screen. Albeit despite Michael’s questionable facial hair.

And Then Come the Nightjars could have been a dark and somewhat heavy-handed reminder of those people whose lives were changed irreparably during the turn of the century. However, thanks to its screenplay and its excellent performances, it turns into a warm and pleasant story about male friendship and moving on.

There is the issue of there not really being much of a plot though and although the two main performers carry the film, it does feel like the film relies on this perhaps a little too much. Most people may not mind as the back and forth between Jeff and Michael is funny and feels like a genuine friendship, but perhaps this aspect worked better on the stage.

In the end though, And Then Come the Nightjars leaves its audience with a warm glow and a reminder that despite hard times, things do get better.

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