Review: West of Sunshine
DVD: West of Sunshine (2017)
Jim (Damian Hill) is separated from his wife and it is his turn to look after their son Alex (Ty Perham) for the day. Unfortunately, this day is like no other as Jim owes $1500 to a loan shark and has to make payment in full by 5pm.
So begins a day where a father and son relationship is pushed to breaking point and beyond; including highs and lows in a betting shop, wayward drug deals, a violent attack, and an impromptu haircut.
West of Sunshine contains no big action set pieces, no cgi and no wild stunts, but writer/director Jason Raftopoulos has crafted a slow paced ‘slice of life’ that kept me hooked until the very end.
The onscreen relationship between father and son is at the very core of the movie, and this is enhanced as Ty Perham was Damian Hill’s stepson in real life. I saw was, as Hill passed away in 2018 at the all too young age of 42.
Jim is a very self-destructive character, even when he has the answer to his problem (literally) in the palm of his hand, he is still not satisfied and wants more than he has got. The only thing he truly loves is his classic car that was passed down to him by his own father.
Slowly, over a series of events, Jim begins to understand what is most important in his life. Though the journey to get to that point entails a lot of heart searching and heartache…and a good kicking in the ribs too.
Coming in at a lean 78 minutes, West of Sunshine never outstays its welcome, despite a slow paced narrative and cinematography that lingers on close-ups of faces and the emotions therein.
Playing out almost as a ‘fly on the wall’ following a tortured soul doing his best to find redemption, West of Sunshine is a gentle movie that occasionally takes you by surprise with an emotional kick to your heart.
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