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I CAME BY (2022, GBR) – 6.5/10

The Iranian Babak Anvari introduced himself a few years ago with the acclaimed horror film “Under the Shadow”, which immediately bought him a ticket to the West, where he studied and holds British citizenship. Anvari then filmed the confused and rather pointless horror film “Wounds” in America, and now in Great Britain he filmed a rather ambitious thriller that also tries to have a strong social commentary. And it must be admitted that “I Came By” is full of surprises and that it is a truly solid thriller in which he has gathered a solid cast, but it is a film that by the end is still a little bit executed and turned into a somewhat modern statement in accordance with the social climate .

Toby (George MacKay, who is still best remembered from Mendes’ “1917”) is a young and rebellious graffiti artist who has a special and unusual modus operandi with his friend Jay (Percelle Ascott). They break into the homes of wealthy Londoners to leave the inscription “I Came By” on the wall. This is probably their way of showing the middle finger to the privileged and rich residents whom they consider to be responsible for the state of society. And while 23-year-old Toby still lives with his psychotherapist mom (Kelly Macdonald) and is still the angry young man who would change the world for the better at any cost, Jay has other, rather more life-threatening problems. His girlfriend is pregnant and soon he will become a father, so his priorities are changing.

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So Toby will go on his own to break into the apartment of retired judge Hector Blake (an atypical role for Hugh Bonneville, who is best remembered for his roles in typical British period dramas such as “Downton Abbey” where he played Robert Crawley), who is the heir to an old aristocratic family. and lives in one of those grand houses in the old part of London. And although Judge Blake is seemingly a typical example of the white privileged class and a man who has always lived in abundance thanks to his rich ancestors, he appears at first as a socially conscious guy who fought for the rights of the oppressed and disenfranchised throughout his career.

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However, we will see that it is only a facade, because during the burglary of the judge’s house, Toby will realize that he is hiding a real surprise in the basement room, which he has turned into a real dungeon. And it will be just the first in a series of surprises prepared by Anvari and his co-writer Namsi Khan, the daughter of the popular Pakistani musician Fazal Malik Akif. Some of these surprises work better, some are completely missed. At some moments, it seemed to me that Anvari completely forgot that he was making a thriller and focused on commenting on society and pointing fingers at the privileged members of society who are trusted with everything and who will get away with just about anything. Perhaps because of this, all the characters remained a bit superficial, but all the same, “I Came By” was still a watchable, solid thriller that did not reach the high ambitions that it set out to achieve.

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