‘Anchor and Hope’
- Directed by: Carlos Marques-Marcet
- Written by: Carlos Marques-Marcet and Jules Nurrish
- Starring: Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer, and Geraldine Chaplin
‘Anchor and Hope’ is the story of Eva (Chaplin) and Kat (Tena), a young couple who live on a canal boat in London. When Kat’s best friend, Roger (Verdaguer), arrives from Barcelona to catch up, it’s drunkenly proposed by Eva that Roger helps them have a baby – something the couple hadn’t previously discussed together.
Hazy heads in the morning may likely push this off as a drunken conversation, but Eva is as serious as ever: she wants to have a baby. What follows is a canal boat journey through surrogacy and adoption, alongside what it really means to be a parent. Is being a parent all its cracked up to be?
The arrival of Roger causes Eva and Kat to open up to the world around them and realise how things may not be as they seem on the outside-looking-in: it’s a tale of discovering yourself and those around you.
‘Anchor and Hope’ is a stylish, beautifully composed, and moving film with enough humorous moments sprinkled throughout to keep you afloat (pun intended). Performances from Chaplin, Tena, Verdaguer, and a scene-stealing moment from Geraldine Chaplin make you feel for the characters and just hope that it can all be figured out.
It’s also worth adding that Verdaguer as Roger is beautiful to ogle at on screen. Despite Roger getting the mick taken out of him for his beard/moustache, you certainly won’t hear any complaints over here.
The film is beautifully made with scenery and exterior shots given the opportunity to breathe and excel without ever being made to be just a location for the next big scene, it’s as if the boat and the canal are their own characters: they play just as an integral part as the cast.
Ultimately, the film is an important reminder of the power in not only hope but also aspiration. It’s vital to go for the things in life you want, even if it has the potential to change who and what you know. It also poses a massive question as to how on earth they managed to get a piano on board a canal boat with space left over – it sounds like a logistical nightmare (but we’re side-stepping now).
For many LGBT+ people watching, ‘Anchor and Hope’ may be a realistic rendition of their own experiences or put into thought something they’ll later be faced with. Surrogacy and considering your options for children when in a same-sex relationship can often be a confusing and stressful time, so it’s nice to have something that doesn’t sugar-coat the situation too much. It’s a warts-and-all tale of how one couple decides to become a family and how that has an impact on everything they know.