The Dark Horse

This New Zealand film had been on my radar for a while, having heard an interview with executive producer and star Cliff Curtis, and co-star James Rolleston on the Rancho Notorious film podcast last year.

It’s a powerful film based on the true story of a former chess champion living with a bi-polar disorder, who finds himself in the middle of both a challenging family scenario, and at the same time holding together a struggling amateur chess club.

If that sounds like it may be a touch melodramatic, rest assured it is not. Admittedly the chess competition towards the end is perhaps a little cliché in places, but it’s the only thing that even slightly irked me. Genesis faces challenges, but he knows what needs to be done, and he knows how, it’s just that sometimes it’s a struggle for him to control.

Cliff Curtis (Genesis) and first-timer Wayne Hapi as his brother turn in excellent, raw performances, and I highly recommend that you see this when it opens in the UK on 3rd April.

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