This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
"Even though the first half of And Then Come the Nightjars easily held the attention, viewers may find themselves detached by the end."
BY ELLIOT LINES SEPTEMBER 1, 2023
An adaptation of Bea Roberts multi-award winning stage play, And Then Come The Nightjars tells the story of a long-time friendship between Devon based dairy farmer Michael (David Fielder) and veterinarian Jeff (Nigel Hastings), who is assigned to cull his herd in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis.
The main focus of And Then Come the Nightjars is most certainly on the relationship between these two characters. Throughout the run-time their relationship is tested multiple times over the span of many years, and the film does a good job of conveying their troubles and resolutions to the problems they face.
With the film being set in the early 2000's, and the subject matter being the foot and mouth crisis, parts of this can be quite upsetting for some. However, the first half of the movie is by far the most compelling part. This is where the relationship is tested most, as far as Michael waving a "loaded" shotgun in Jeff's face to try deter the culling of his precious herd. After these events and Jeff ending up on Michaels doorstep the film takes a bit of a time jump, this is where the story fell a little flat and lost its way.
For a directorial debut from Paul Robinson, And Then Come the Nightjars was a pretty good start. Unfortunately when the focus is on minimal characters for the whole duration, the need for substance is key, and even though the first half easily held the attention, viewers may find themselves detached by the end.