David (Tim Barrow) and Fraser (Fraser Sivewright) are two brothers who haven't seen each other for years thanks to Fraser staying in Scotland and his sibling moving down to London. But their lives intersect once more when their father (Tom Hardy) dies and they both attend the funeral. Later, they reluctantly discuss what to do with their inheritance, which seems to be various belongings, a house and their father's workshop. David doesn't want any part of it and can't wait to leave, but Fraser finds a letter and a key; the letter tells them to head off to the Isle of Skye to win their true inheritance - but it doesn't mean the brothers are going to get on during the journey...
The Inheritance was a road movie on a tiny budget, scripted by star and co-producer Tim Barrow, that made some of the best use of the Scottish scenery which would put higher spending films to shame. One of the strengths of the project was its sense of place, of environment, whether it be the tiny village the brothers hailed from, or the bridges and mountains that they pass over and around on their quest. Tonally, this was more Irvine Welsh than Bill Douglas, and Barrow evidently considered it clever to swear as his characters spend almost every line effing and blinding.
In fact the sweary dialogue comes across as an unnecessary bid to render the drama more gritty, but it's at odds with the beautiful landscape. The brothers opt to drive up to their destination in the father's red camper van, which is something of a wreck but transports them well enough despite needing a rest every so often. The strained banter between David and Fraser is effective enough, with the younger brother, who drives, preferring to chat more than the older; when David does open up late at night he appears to regret it the next morning and clams up once more.
Two's company and three's a crowd, as is proven when Fraser stops for a hitchhiker called Tara (Imogen Toner) who vaguely says she's going North which satisfies Fraser but needles with David. As it turns out in a twist, the elder brother was right in his assessment of Tara, but she provides a little more meat to a story that even at around an hour long, could look thin were it not for the trappings of the genre. There's family tensions galore, culminating in an over-melodramatic climax, but what you most take away from The Inheritance is the vivid atmosphere of Scotland, whether it be references to Irn Bru, fish suppers and macaroni pies, the rolling hills and placid lakes, or the emotional reticence (anger apart) of its male characters. You could say that the film was better at handling its background than its foreground, but this was an admirable first feature nevertheless. Music by Fiona Rutherford.