Go Now

on August 01, 2008 by Christine James
   "Go Now" is a touching drama, but not quite touching enough. Robert Carlyle ("The Full Monty") gives a strong performance as Nick, a spirited Scottish craftsman and soccer player who thinks life's at its best: good mates, good times and a good woman. He's just won the heart of the woman he's been pining for, Karen (Juliet Aubrey), and is exultant. Shortly after the two move in together, however, Nick begins having dizzy spells and other unaccountable physiological troubles. At first, it seems to be from a blow he received while trying to defend Karen from an overzealous would-be suitor. But a visit to the doctor reveals it's something far more serious: He's suffering from multiple sclerosis.
   The subject matter is compelling, and is realistically played out. Karen's dilemma is well-depicted; she loves Nick, but is she prepared to play nursemaid for the rest of her life, especially when a successful ex-boyfriend is still trying to seduce her? Nick's friends are in a similar conundrum, wondering how to make Nick continue to feel accepted despite his disability. Nick realizes the situation his loved ones are in, but the frustrations of his limitations cause him to lash out regardless. While the scenario and characters draw empathy, there's an emotional distance at which the audience is kept which prevents a real connection with the protagonists. One cause of this is that true love between Nick and Karen prior to the discovery of Nick's illness isn't as solidly established as seems to be presumed. A clumsy comic relief device of turning onscreen action into snapshots with marginally funny captions also intrudes upon any emotional momentum that might have been developing.    Starring Robert Carlyle and Juliet Aubrey. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. Written by Paul Henry Powell and Jimmy McGovern. Produced by Andrew Eaton. A Gramercy release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 86 min.
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