17/02/2015 07:06 GMT | Updated 14/04/2015 06:59 BST

Film Review: High Tide

The student clad Swansea landscape is invisible in this beautifully shot drama about the day a mother, Bethan (Melanie Walters), takes her son, Josh (Samuel Davies), out of school to walk around the local Gower Peninsula.

The debut feature film from Jimmy Hay and James Gillingham shows urban city problems and family fractures blend into the rural, seaside lifestyle in way unseen before.


Davies' performance as a 17-year-old confused teenager is a testament to this wonderful film.

Carried through by Walters, best known for her role as Gwen in Gavin and Stacey, his character is instantly relatable to those early childhood years when spending a day with your mother rather than your friends is more embarrassing than rewarding.

This isn't the first 'Long Arm Film' Walters has taken a role in. Short film, Ex Libris saw the Swansea based actress perform alongside fellow Welsh actor Robert Pugh, known as Craster in Game of Thrones, in the university library as a librarian with a troubling love affair.

Walters has taken her roots in the city and embodied them again in High Tide. You can sense she relates to the script, in particularly the mother and son's conversation about Welsh pop and rock music.

However, in this film, with only one day to prove to her son she is a good mother she pulls at your heartstrings like no other. The passionate addressing of her sons future on the sand dunes is incredibly moving especially when we find out that everything is likely to change. The retrospective thinking of this film is what hits the hardest with the viewer.

You cannot fault the idealistic backdrop of Gower beach, Rhossili for encapsulating the moment the couple are sharing as they consider walking the natural tourist attraction, Worm's Head.

Their natural connection to the landscape is obvious and it's one of the most hopeful school truancies I've ever seen.

The character of fun loving and a bit mad mother, Tess (Claire Cage), gave the film the comic relief just when you needed it and you wish she's the kind of woman who would be your friend. She is the holder of the excitement and continues to push that throughout..

Whilst many films may have taken the chance to exaggerate the drama in this plot, High Tide allows the climatic moments to carry you with them on their journey without having to overwork the serious nature of their arguments.

Most parents and children know the fragile nature of the hormonal stage and I think the film addresses that connection well.

It is creatively and carefully produced; clearly it has been given a lot of love and attention.

"It's been a weird day..." sums up the films serenity and gives a springboard for the co-directors and film company's future career.


The film is being shown at a number of dates around South Wales in March with their premiere at the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea on February 27.

Out March 6 at Vue, Swansea.

Certificate 15. Running time 93 mins.