Watch Idris Elba Play Daddy in First Clip From Slice of Life London-Set Drama 'Second Coming'
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Watch Idris Elba Play Daddy in First Clip From Slice of Life London-Set Drama 'Second Coming'

Second Coming

With her film debut “Second Coming”, playwright Debbie Tucker

Green has created an intriguing if meandering portrait of an ordinary London

family torn apart by the miraculous and the unexplained. Nadine Marshall plays

Jax, a woman married for over twenty years to hard-working railway worker

husband Mark (Idris Elba). Ever since having their first child JJ (Kai Francis

Lewis), now 11, the couple have grown distant, partly due to experiencing

four traumatizing miscarriages.

And yet, when we meet Jax, we learn through vague, cryptic

conversations between her and a friend that she’s several weeks pregnant,

despite being told by doctors that she can never conceive again. She and Mark

have not been intimate in months, she hasn’t had any affairs, and as she struggles

to come to terms with her mystery pregnancy, her relationship with both her

husband and her precocious young son implodes.

Throughout the gloomily shot feature there’s a constant sense

of impending doom – Jax repeatedly has ominous dreams in which she’s drowning,

overtaken by a deluge of water. But while the film is not lacking in atmosphere

and tone, it’s sorely lacking in plot. The intimate scenes of daily family life

are charming, thanks to the overall chemistry between the three leads, but they

ultimately don’t add up to much.

Instead of the numerous scenes of Jax and Mark staring silently

and moodily at one another from across the dinner table, scenes of the family

eating breakfast on bed on weekend mornings, or hurriedly getting ready for work

and school on a Monday, the narrative would have been helped enormously by more

scenes where the situation at hand – that is, the immaculate conception – was

actually addressed head on.

Instead, there are a lot of ambiguous allusions to the pregnancy

itself, as the core relationships continue to deteriorate. There’s also very

little explanation as to why this is happening – all elements of the

supernatural or the religious are for the most part avoided in an effort to

uphold the movie’s gritty, hyper-realistic style.

While in many ways the film presents a refreshing, honest

glimpse at black family life, with Idris Elba in one of his more thoughtful

performances, the story ultimately takes too long to make its point. It

meanders in a way that is rarely engaging, but more frustrating – unfortunate,

since with a great cast, beautiful cinematography and a fascinating premise, it

had a lot of potential. 

A first clip from the film, which world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, has surfaced today and is embedded below:

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