Soundtrack to Sixteen (2020) Movie Review

Director: Hillary Shakespeare

Writer: Hillary Shakespeare, Anna-Elizabeth Shakespeare (Screenplay)

Starring: Scarlett Marshall, James Calloway, Jamal Hadjkura, Jack Boal, Sean Micallef, Emily Jayne

Plot: A coming of age story of a boy and girl growing up in London in the noughties, dealing with the everyday insecurities that make your world implode at sixteen.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful Coming-of-Age Film

Story: Soundtrack to Sixteen starts as we meet two different sixteen year olds, Maisy (Marshall) who has been struggling to fit in and wanting to experience her first kiss, Ben is a smart kid who has always put his studies first until he starts to struggling to hit the grades he once hit.

The two both decide they want a change in their lives, Maisy starts trying to hang around with the cooler kids, only for them to clearly use her, while Ben wants to experience becoming more laid back and letting grades take their own place, until the two meet and finally find themselves around someone who makes them feel happy.

Thoughts on Soundtrack to Sixteen

Characters – Maisy is the lonely 16-year-old, she is caught up in the middle of wanting to have her first kiss, which sees her trying to find a group of friends in her life, she finds herself being left out of parties and when invited she is just the ride, alone in the world, she finds an unlikely friend in Ben, only for her to need to learn about her insecurities in life. Ben believes he is going to study and walk through his exams, only to see himself starting to decline in grades, deciding he would rather try and coast through, while being consumed with the desire to succeed, Maisy offers him a new lease on life, someone who could challenge him in conversation, unlike anyone before. We do meet the popular girls that use Maisy, the friends, she turns her back on and the friends that Ben is trying to get more out of.

PerformancesScarlett Marshall and James Calloway are both wonderful in the leading roles, they show the insecurities they are both facing in life, we see the ups and downs they face in everyday life, both show how difficult growing up can be, when plans might not go the way they thought.

StoryThe story here follows two 16-year-olds that are showing the pressures of the final year of school and the social troubles they are facing. The story does touch on the troubles that teenagers could face, be it the pressure of exams, finding friends and understanding who will be there for them in lives. By seeing how close people can be without needing to know who is around them, means we can see how the lives are going in a direction neither Maisy or Ben planned, until they will find each other to help each other. Being set in the 90’s we have all the music I could personally remember liking, which shows the memory lane people could experience through this story, with the biggest question being, ‘where are the parents’.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film follows the two find themselves in difficult situations, while the romance is more about what could be around the corner in life for someone as young as 16, showing how they can struggle to feel accepted with their own choices in life.

SettingsThe film does use the London setting which does reflect just how busy the lives of the teenagers are.

Scene of the Movie – Awkward bus trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – These two seem to have no parents supporting them through the problems.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful coming of age film that does show us just how difficult growing up can be for any teenager who doesn’t always fit in.

Overall: Coming of Age Treat.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – V – Videoman (2018)

Director: Kristian A Soderstrom

Writer: Kristian A Soderstrom (Screenplay)

Starring: Stefan Sauk, Lena Nilsson, Morgan Alling, Martin Wallstrom, Sven Wollter, Helena Jansson, Amanda Ooms

Plot: A VHS collector and a woman obsessed with the 80s, both alcoholics, initiates a romance that helps them battle their personal failures.

Tagline – A movie can turn your life around

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Memory Lane Thriller

Story: Videoman starts as we meet Ennio Midena (Sauk) who 20-years ago had the best video shop in Sweden, now with videos out of fashion, his collection is vast, but just not giving any money, even though he continues to add to the collection, with hopes of once again opening up a Video store, believing they will come back into fashion like vinyl to music.

When Ennio gets a call from infamous video collection Faceless, he agrees to sell her some of his collection for a large amount, which would solve some of the money problems Ennio is facing, only to learn that not many people live long after meeting Faceless, putting him on edge about his own well being and the new woman in his life Simone (Nilsson) who like him, is also obsessed with the 1980s.

Thoughts on Videoman

Characters – Ennio is a businessman, who made his money from a video store back in the 80s and 90s, now with the format dying out he want to make a comeback with his video collection being amongst the best in the world. He sees part of his collection attract a huge fee which could help clear his debts, just as he meets a new woman with the similar love of the 80s as him. He doe start to question his own reality after becoming obsessed certain parts of his collections are happening to him in real life. Simone is the assistant that is getting bogged down with work that she searches social media for attention when she isn’t drinking, her love for 80s doesn’t help he situation as most people in her life have moved on, until she meets Ennio. We do meet people in both their lives, with Simone having a tragic life of lost dreams, while Ennio meets his fellow collectors who give him the conversations about movies he enjoys the most.

PerformancesStefan Sauk and Lena Nilsson both give us wonderful leading performances, they both show the problems their characters are struggling through during the film. When we look into the supporting performances, everyone feels like they are in the world they are in.

StoryThe story does follow two people with their own addictions that find love through their addictions, they must look at their own life to see what is going wrong in their life and figure out if they can fix it before it is too late. We do get to see how one person is still hung up on an aging format, much like how we are seeing streaming services take over the modern media format, the collectors will always want hard copies of their love. We do get a serious look at how alcohol has taken over bigger parts in life too. This is an interesting story and does show how paranoia can take over when addictions are getting out of control.

Comedy/ThrillerThe comedy side of this film comes from seeing how Ennio is reacting to certain things that are happening in his life, the thriller side of the film does its best to keep us wondering just what could be real or not.

SettingsThe film does show us how the two people operating in everyday life, we see how the collectors are not always going to be where you think they are too.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong through the film, we get to see a couple of clever moments which are effective to understand Ennio mentality.

Scene of the Movie – Sleeping on TV?

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The collection talk will go over some people’s heads.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at how collectors still will make room for new additions to their collection, however much money comes their way, as well as showing how addiction can work.

Overall: Thriller that shows problems with addictions.