Review: ToryBoy the Movie

DVD: ToryBoy the Movie (2010)

toryboy-the-movieWith the current political climate (Brexit, an American President-elect who apparently likes grabbing felines) dominating media headlines and the general public’s social media timelines, now is the perfect time to watch the 2010 documentary ToryBoy the Movie.

Directed by and starring twice BAFTA nominated filmmaker John Walsh (make sure to have a listen to my interview show with him) this documentary follows John as he becomes the Conservative party candidate for Middlesborough during the general election of 2010.

Like all great documentaries, the narrative takes some unexpected and entertaining twists as real life throws its usual curve balls. John (a confirmed Labour party supporter all of his life until becoming increasingly disillusioned with its politics and convictions) decides to join the Conservative party and put himself forward as a candidate. In an amazing series of events that sees John leapfrog over potential candidates that have been trying to gain a seat for many years, he becomes the candidate for Middlesborough and so begins a campaign that sees John run the rollercoaster of emotions as the election gets progressively closer.

Middlesborough is a Labour party stronghold and it’s candidate Sir Stuart Bell has held office there for almost 30 years. John uncovers some suspicious activity relating to Bell and digging deeper he uncovers a rabbit hole of political ineptitude; Bell hasn’t held any open public surgeries in over 15 years and the residents can’t recall ever seeing him except on election days. Nefarious tactics also seem to be in play when it comes to getting the votes of the people. Yet despite all of this, John uncovers an engrained apathy within the Middlesborough residents to change their vote from someone whom they fully admit has done nothing for them and continues to ignore them.

John begins a pro-active campaign which involves, among other things, holding open surgeries for the public to come and voice their opinions. Pounding the streets and ‘pressing the flesh’ John’s openness and forthcoming demeanour makes him someone that I would certainly vote for. All does not run smoothly of course, which reduces John at one point to hurl a food filled frying pan across the kitchen in frustration.

Will John win in this bastion of Labour supporters? Can he expose Stuart Bell for his political shenanigans? What will happen when both John and Stuart meet face to face on election day?

ToryBoy the Movie is a fantastic documentary and one in which you will be cheering for John despite what political party you follow. His journey from his Labour roots through to a Tory campaign is superbly documented and will have you both laughing and feeling his frustration in equal measure.

Take a backseat from all the current political goings-on and watch ToryBoy the Movie. #VoteJohn

The DVD also contains ToryBoy the Aftermath; a 2012 short which documents the fall out following the release of the original documentary. Also included are all the brilliant animations which are used in ToryBoy the Movie which forward the narrative in a hugely enjoyable way. Definitely a ‘must buy’.

[Edit: December 7th, 2016] ToryBoy the Movie is now also available to rent or buy via Vimeo on Demand. This also includes ToryBoy the Aftermath.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a DVD kindly sent by John Walsh.