Writer: Jason Raftopoulos (Screenplay)
Starring: Damian Hill, Ty Perham, Arthur Angel, Kat Stewart, Tony Nikolakopoulos, Kaarin Fairfax
Plot: A father has less than a day to pay back a debt to a violent loan shark, while looking after his young son.
Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Wonderful Father, Son Relationship
Story: West of Sunshine starts when down on his luck delivery driver Jim (Hill) has promised to have his son Alex (Perham) for the day, which sees him being forced to deliver in his own car, while trying to make up the money he owes to a violent loan shark.
Becoming desperate for money he turns to Mel (Stewart) who gives him a chance to deliver drugs for her, which will test his relationship with Alex. Can the father and son make it through the day and be ready for the next stage of life.
Thoughts on West of Sunshine
Characters – Jim has gotten himself into trouble with his debts, he needs to make up for those debts in one day, the same day he must spend with his son, to whom he has become distant from. This day will test his relationship with his son, test his ability to get the job done and clear his debts. Alex is the son of Jim’s who is spending the day with his father, he gets easily distracted and must learn quickly how much his father does love him, but is in need of support. Steve is the best friend at work, who can’t help Jim through his troubles because he has his own issues. Mel is the woman that does give Jim an out by being her deliver, because of their friendship.
Performances – Damian Hill in the leading role is wonderful, we get to see just how much this means to his character, how he is showing the good father moments and desperate side of the day will offer him. Ty Perham as the young boy does a great job too, as he does need to show what it is like without a father figure in his life. In the supporting roles we get solid work from everybody else who are only here for chapters of Jim’s story.
Story – The story here follows a father trying to reconnect with his son, on the same day he must work to make up for the debts he has built up with his gambling problems. The two must bond while he is showing the desperation to make up for his mistakes and be a good father. We get a very simple way to see how the relationship is building and we focus on this side of the story for most of the film, rather than seeing Jim’s problems which is nice because we could focus on them, though we need to see how the father is trying to keep his life together.
Crime – The crime in this film shows just how one man can let his debts lead him to become distant from his family and how he must turn to crime to clean up his own mistakes.
Settings – The film is set in the one city and shows how you can have connection all over town to turn to if you need the odd job done.
Final Thoughts – This is a lovely look at a father son relationship and one that can be understood when we see just how much the two must go through.
Overall: Wonderful Relationship based movie.