There is often a moment in a young couple’s life when they start to leave their carefree life and choose to settle down, buy a house and have a child.
This involves compromises, with oneself (replacing what you want with what you need) and with the other; a process that isn’t always easy.
Anchor and Hope is, at its core, the story of this process. Eva and Kat (played respectively by Oona Chaplin (Game Of Thrones (TV), Quantum Of Solace) and Natalia Tena (Game Of Thrones (TV), SuperBob)) are a couple who enjoy their carefree life on a small boat that continuously follows the canals of London.
After the death of their cat and a visit to Eva’s mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, A Monster Calls), Oona’s real mother), Eva realizes that she wants to have a child despite Kat’s reluctance not only to have one, but to leave the untroubled and nomadic life they currently have.
It is only when Kat invites Roger, David Verdaguer (10,000km, Summer 1993), her best friend, to spend a few weeks on the couple’s boat that everything starts to feel a little too real.
During a night of heavy drinking, Eva asks Roger to be the couple’s sperm donor, to which he agrees even after sobering up, setting everything in motion.
Carlos Marques-Marcet’s (10,000km, Say Goodnight (Short) film is a very human one, exploring what each of the three characters feel with a lot of sensitivity and without ever taking sides.
Most of all, it is the relationships that constitute this trio that are the most complex, fascinating and beautifully rendered.
Eva and Kat clearly love each other, but this obstacle of diverging desires may be too big to overcome – this isn’t on the same level as their previous compromises, like Eva accepting Roger’s two-weeks stay on the boat or Kat making an effort when visiting Eva’s strange mother.
Similarly, Kat and Roger’s perfect friendship starts deteriorating once he agrees with Eva’s plan and gradually realizes he wants to be a father to the future child instead of just a donor.
This also doesn’t fit with what Eva had in mind, as she doesn’t want him to be too involved. Therefore, although the trio is united by the situation (accentuated by their cohabitation in the small boat), they all are far more apart from one another as they were before.
And, thanks to Carlos Marquet-Marcet and Jules Nurrish’ (Kiss Me (Short), Hard Times (Short)) script as well as the great performances of each actors, everything is captivating and feels realistic as the movie explores the complexity of the situation.
Anchor and Hope is divided into several chapters announced by title cards, but the film is far from being rigid or too organized. On the contrary, it slowly and organically flows like the water of the canals, transporting the viewer from one character to another while still forming a cohesive whole.
The soundtrack is composed of a mix of songs, most notably a few songs by Molly Drake that open and close the film with incredible tenderness and perfectly fit the beautiful cinematography.
This makes the film feel incredibly soft despite the strong and bittersweet emotions felt by the characters.
With this film, Carlos Marquet-Marcet creates a touching picture of three people linked by the desire or rejection of a pregnancy, and the love, compromises, heartbreak and loneliness they experience around it.