Review: The Toll
Cinema & Digital: The Toll (2021)
Set on the Pembrokeshire border, an unnamed toll booth operator (Michael Smiley) quietly passes his time reading books while taking the occasional 40p toll charge from the few cars that pass through.
His peace is interrupted one day when a shotgun is pushed through the toll booth window and 3 girls (whom he knows as locals in the area) proceed to rob him and want everything that he has…which totals: his watch, his cheese and pickle sandwich, and the £1.20 he has taken in toll money.
Naturally aggrieved at the disappointing haul, the girls drive away in not the best of moods.
Next to arrive at the toll booth is a man who is driving alone and is looking for the closest ferry port.
Initially unconcerned with the mans plight, the toll booth operator gives him little attention and doesn’t even look out of his window while giving him short answers to his questions. Though when he finally does look out of the window and their eyes meet, a chain of events begins to unfold that involves (but is not limited to) a female Elvis Presley impersonator and her partner, an ambulance driver with an affinity for dogging, a gum chewing motorcycle riding wannabe gangster, and a pub full of people who love to take the piss out of their young female police officer…who is trying to piece everything together while also still dealing with the death of her father a year ago by a hit and run driver.
Playing out in a non-linear narrative, The Toll is full of interesting characters and wickedly dark humour, all filmed on location, giving it an open and fresh feeling as events begin to spiral out of control in the windswept countryside.
Always keeping you guessing as to what is going to happen next, the 83 minutes fly by with some great set pieces and dialogue. All delivered by characters that are instantly engaging.
Being based in Wales we naturally have an affinity for all things remotely Welsh, but even if this was set anywhere else it would have kept me entertained just as much.
A character driven story that keeps you guessing as to where it will all end right up until the final credits.
Well worth paying the toll for it.
The Toll is in cinemas and on premium digital 27th August 2021 from Signature Entertainment.
Review by Dave from a streaming link kindly supplied by Signature Entertainment via Withfinder PR.