You're about to hear the word 'psychedelic' a lot.
A Field in England (2013) is a surreal British period piece.
A man flees a war and comes across other men who are tired of fighting. They decide to flee across a field to a tavern that one of them knows. However, their pasts catch up with them when they come across O'Neill who presses them into service to find a treasure in the field.
After the first act, the film gets weird. It seems to be in a clever sort of way that we're meant to derive meaning from. Unfortunately, there is a copious amount of mushroom use in this film. The characters eat mushroom stew, Whitehead literally stuffs his face with them, and they ruin the movie. The 'shrooms are an excuse for several bizarre things that could have had some interesting thought attached, but due to the drug use it just gets pointlessly psychedelic.
Whitehead is a man who must find O'Neill for his master. He seems completely ill equipped for the task as he prays to God every chance he gets. Despite the psychedelic elements, Whitehead goes on his own journey in the story
Lower Class Observers
Friend is a fool who is purportedly a good with a pike. He spends the film coming back from the dead and cracking hilarious jokes. He makes the film enjoyable due to his humorous and insightful observations about the peculiar situation.
Jacob is a mercenary who 'is his own man.' He has lived a full life and is suffering from many diseases as a result. He develops a friendship with the others that he holds of great value.
Cutler is a sarcastic man who turns out to be in O'Neill's employ. He's there to keep the other three in line.
O'Neill claims to be Satan and is convinced that Whitehead can help him find it.
The field is lovely and the drug-related effects are awesome (if distracting from the story). The use of sound helps push the surreal aspects of the film and Friend sings a song that may have deeper relevance to the story than it seems.
In the End
Weird shit that distracts from how the experience has affected Whitehead. This film would be better off focusing on how his character develops from the friendships he makes.
This film is so close to being fascinating that it pains me. The first act is fantastic and had it maintained a Canterbury Tales-esque flair through the end then it would have gotten at least a point higher on my scale. See this if you love British period pieces and have a high tolerance for psychedelic BS.
Next Time: A British found footage film.