Honour killings are a theme explored only recently in British cinema, in Shan Khan’s underwhelming endeavour Honour, starring Paddy Considine. It’s a murky business that’s been portrayed in a far darker, brutal and naturalistic way in Daniel Wolfe’s debut feature film, Catch Me Daddy.
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed plays Laila, a British-Pakistani who seeks refuge in West Yorkshire, hiding out with her unemployed boyfriend Aaron (Connor McCarron). It’s her choice of partner which led to her fleeing her family, as her father feels she has brought shame upon them. So he sets her cousins and brother Zaheer (Ali Ahmad) to find, and kill the young girl, while they also hire caucasian duo Barry (Barry Nunney) and Tony (Gary Lewis) to assist them, as the collective of killers roam the streets on the hunt for Laila, who sets off into the dark, bitter night.
This disquieting picture is unrelenting from the word go, with little respite for the viewer, who is really put through the paces. There are countless, and somewhat unsubtle, images of predators – as the camera lingers on pet snakes, and sharks. It’s symbolic of the narrative, which effectively becomes a deadly cat and mouse chase, as the hunters look to take down their prey. This unflinching piece of cinema bears a similar intensity and commitment for authenticity that likens it to the work of Shane Meadows and Clio Barnard – which is about as high a compliment as can be paid to a first-time, British filmmaker.
The structure and pacing is masterful too, being a feature that could well signal the start of an illustrious career in cinema for Wolfe. That being said, given the gruelling, unforgiving nature of the film, and how uncomfortable an experience it is – it’s not exactly a film you’d ever want to sit through a second time.