Each of the six characters has their own personal agenda and travels to the isolated hotel in an attempt to resolve their problems.
When asked about the films setting, the films writer and director Carol Morley said: “I wanted to make a film in a hotel as for a few years my Mum ran a boarding house.”
Upon finding the perfect location in a hotel situated on the edge of a snowy cliff in Eastbourne, Morley said how she thought: “can’t have a film set here if the plot isn’t something to do with the cliff.”
The story is centred around the character of Elly (Maxine Peake), who is struggling to cope with the death of a friend who fell from the cliff, and returns to the hotel in an attempt to remember the events of the fateful day that has haunted her for so long.
A cleverly interwoven plot sees each of the other characters play their part in helping Elly to remember what happened, from the simple whistling of a tune to the uncovering of photographs taken by passers by. The hotel and its staff also make their contribution to the plots coherence with the not so subtle recurrent scenes of the receptionist piecing together a puzzle.
The actors are recognisable from a number of television programmes such as Shameless and Skins, and are perfectly cast to convey the intensity of emotion that comes with the story. However there are some exceptions to this which arrive in the form of extras in the hotel’s restaurant. In a hotel that throughout the film is seen to be deserted, with the exception of the six characters and three staff members, the sudden arrival of a large group is incredibly uncomfortable and awkward and shows on the faces of these random extras.
The detail of the characters separate arrivals in taxis, the establishment of them in their individual hotel rooms and their coming together on the cliff at the end of the film, show how the films direction is an excellent complement to the captivating script.
The powerful script and idyllic location didn’t come without their problems and the remoteness of the location proved problematic for the cast and crew. Despite only taking 18 days to film, all those involved were faced with adverse weather conditions and Carol Morley said: “One day Maxine Peake went home on a tractor”, which was due to the heavy snowfall that occurred.
In spite of the many difficulties that were faced, an enchanting film was created. Although it didn’t receive widespread recognition at London’s Film Festival, Edge is a triumph as Genesis Entertainments first venture into feature films.