Beauty should always be intense. Beauty should always be dangerous.
Postcards from London is the story of a young man, Jim (Harris Dickinson), who packs his bags and leaves his small-town future to discover the secrets of Soho. Upon reaching London, Jim soon discovers he has nowhere to stay and before long finds himself homeless and almost penniless. Luckily, he is adopted into a group kindred souls. He finds his place within a group of escorts ‘The Raconteurs,’ who educate themselves in the art of post-coital conversation to appeal to a more sophisticated clientele. Jim and the group often find themselves the subject of artistic recreations as their clients seek to play out sexual fantasies based on their favourite art work.
Unfortunately Jim soon realises that he suffers from a condition called Stendahl Syndrome, a rare condition that causes him to feel dizzy when he looks at art and to even collapse and hallucinate himself in the painting when looking at a true masterpiece i.e. Jim’s personal favourite artist, Carravaggio. Jim’s condition is an interesting turn, if not a little odd to say the least, and takes Jim on an out of this world adventure that veers away from expectations of the film, it all just gets a bit odd at times.
Several times throughout Postcards From London Jim is transported to find himself the subject of Caravaggio’s art, even coming to a disagreement with the artist on more than one occasion. If you are a fan of Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats) then you are in for a treat as Caravaggio’s artwork often portrayed scantily clad young men as the subject, which apparently has led to disputes over by artist’s sexuality.
With every scene throughout the film being shot inside a dimly lit bar, a bedroom or an art studio, Postcards From London feels more like a well thought out theatre show than a full length film. Director Steve Mclean uses beautiful young men with neon bar signs often glancing off of cheekbones, jawlines and abs to make up for the occasional slowness of the story. Harris Dickinson steals the show from the get-go with his ‘watch this space’ performance and we can no doubt expect great things from the London born actor.
All in all Postcards From London deserves a watch. Whilst it might not quite be the masterpiece we were all hoping for, it is an indie exploration into the unknown and alluring London underworld.