Yesterday, I went to see a preview of a new movie called, In My Father’s Den, opening in Perth in a couple of months time which I’d highly recommend.
The movie has many twists and turns and I promise to ensure this review doesn’t give away any of the crucial secrets. Even so, it’s the warmth of the central characters which made this such an enjoyable experience. The central characters of the film are Paul Prior played by Matthew MacFadyen and Celia, played by Emily Barclay. I’ve been a fan of MacFadyens for a year or so now, having enjoyed his performances in “Spooks” and “Perfect Strangers”. Curiously enough, as with “Perfect Strangers”, this movie also has a focus on family secrets. Barclay is a very new actor, and according to the IMDB Bio, she currently works part-time in an Auckland video store.
MacFadyen’s character is a world renowned photo-journalist who is brought back to rural New Zealand by the death of his father. Barclay’s character is the daughter of an old schoolfriend of MacFadyen’s character. Through a set of circumstances – the interview she conducts with him for school is hilarious – they become friends, connecting through their love of books and through MacFadyen’s character’s desire to ensure Barclay’s character has the chance to achieve – like him – all of her potential.
In the background to this, we’re given an insight into life in a small rural community in New Zealand where the teenagers are bored and the adults are divided amongst those who enjoy life locally and those who admire those who have left. Having grown up in a relatively small town myself, I recognised many of the aspects of community life, including the teenage farm party. And I recognised aspects of Paul and Celia’s characters in my own life.
That said, I want to go there tomorrow. The landscape is glorious and I’d say, with the right attitude about life, you could live a wonderful life there. Mind you, you might also get bored. And there’s something about the Patty Smith soundtrack to the movie which evokes the isolation and desperation you might feel.
While the subject matter of the film is fairly grim – the disappearance and death of the young girl – the movie demonstrates great warmth and humour. And for all of the reasons above, I’d highly recommend it to you.