ingrid rothwell

A Kind of Loving; John Schlesinger; 1962= Despite only being around for a few years, the British New Wave movement (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) has had a profound impact on the style of British cinema and television to this day. A Kind of Loving is a perfect example, with it’s kitchen sink style influencing many films. Alan Bates stars as Vic Brown, a working class draftsman from West Yorkshire. He dates and attempts to seduce typist Ingrid Rothwell (June Ritchie), although he soon realises his feelings for her are wavering. But he realises this too late as Ingrid is pregnant and he is forced to marry her and move in with her domineering mother in law (British acting legend Thora Hird). I do love a grim movie and although I wouldn’t necessarily call this depressing, there are a lot of dramatic moments. Bates and Ritchie both play off one another well, with a sweet teenage chemistry in the initial scenes of the film, and a palpable tension as their relationship begins to fail. Hird is an institution, later being made a Dame, and she pulls off the obnoxious mother in law perfectly. The most impressive part for me is the total realism of this film. In a rom-com or an action/adventure film we want a main character we can root for. But in a drama like this the characters should be more complex, with shades of grey rather than purely black and white. Schlesinger and the writers manage to pull this off perfectly. One moment Ingrid seems irritating, trapping Vic in monotony, and then another moment we see the extreme sorrow in Ingrid and Vic becomes the villain. There are a lot of layers to this film which gives it depth and emotion beyond the average film. There are a few scenes which are technically brilliant and showcase some fabulous acting talent. Being given a truthful look at 1960s Britain, from the attitudes to sex to the tensions between the classes, is quite rare and definitely worth the viewing. I would highly recommend this film for an honest, and at times devastating, portrayal of a couple forced together by the society around them.