“Obviously it’s been reviewed by Margaret and David”, I said to my friend as we looked around at the crowd who attended this afternoon’s screening of Boy at The Verona. The crowd was older and looked very “Eastern Suburbs” and “North Shore”. In our 40s, we were probably the youngest attending the screening.
I’d caught up with my friend for a late breakfast. Although we’d planned to meet at 485, a newish cafe on Crown Street, there was a “Surry Hills queue” and we ended up eating at the nearby Book Kitchen instead. It’s bizarre how many things people in Surry Hills will queue for.
After brunch we window shopped for a while and continued to chat about this, that and the other. Along the way we noticed a “pop up shop” in what was previously a gallery. “Pop up shops” are all the rage, apparently, at the moment.
On a wet day in Sydney, the cinema was, as you might expect quite busy. We got in early, bought the tickets, and had a lovely peppermint tea as we waited for the film to start.
All I knew about the film was that it was set in New Zealand, had a Maori cast, and had been receiving good reviews. The film is seen through the eyes of a young boy being raised (along with several other family members) by his grandmother. His mother had died in childbirth, and his father had been in prison. For a week or so the children are left to raise themselves while their grandmother went to another town for a funeral. During that week, the father turns up unexpectedly, and a kind of havoc ensues. As a result the boy comes to know his father in many unexpected ways.
It’s such a great film. The story is simple and well-told, but also profound. The actors are all very good and play their roles with great authenticity. It’s beautifully shot. And most importantly, it’s about the right length. Most films, these days, are about twenty minutes too long in my opinion, but I never lost interest in the film and never thought it dragged.