this town

★★★★

DIRECTOR: david white (meat, oink)
STARRING: david white, alice may connolly, robyn malcolm and Rima Te Wiata

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

Acquitted of a crime, a young man tries to rebuild his life while an ex-cop turned Petting Zoo Owner, convinced of his murderous tendencies, tries to prove his guilt.

With a dark and vaguely familiar backstory, Sean is on a tough road to find love. But can This Town weave together murder and a romantic match to make this another cinematic win from our own backyard?

 

Directed by and starring David White (prolific documentary director and producer), This Town makes all those small-town nuances the star as it creates one quirky tale. You know the ones: everyone knows your business, everyone has a conspiracy theory, and everyone knows everyone. When you're like Sean, if you've made the headlines once, it's like you've never left them. Sean's (David White) entire family was murdered and he was the top suspect before being let off from all charges. Pam (Robyn Malcolm) was the cop on the case at the time and left the force when things turned to custard and Sean went free. She now runs her own version of an Adventure Park while working day and night to prove Sean's guilt.

 

But then we come to Sean's love life. Sean is innocent, sweet and on the hunt for love. He enters the swiping game and matches with Casey (Alice May Connelly). Their sweeping romance features a whole lot of Chinese smorgasbord, some pink Munta and a few homemade pots. We can't help but cheer for Sean, but Pam keeps bringing us back to all the reasons he's a murderer. Can this awkward romantic really have done it? Casey believes his innocence, but let's never forget the small-town factor. It's never fun being under that judgy spotlight. 

 

David White gives Sean a lot of heart - so much so it's almost impossible not to cheer for him. His documentary-style of filming really keeps the story tight and the humour is sweet and disarming. While we don't get to see too much of how Sean's dark past haunts his own mind day-to-day, we do see how it's impacted this town forever.

 

Entertaining and intriguing, This Town is fun and familiar in the very best way. Another quality example of watching our own fabulous country and culture on the big screen.

★★★★

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