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‘This Town’ – Review

‘This Town’ – Review

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Kiwi audiences are extremely lucky to be some of the first back into the realm of the cinema, and to kick things off there’s no better way to start than with a viewing of the extremely quirky, truly Kiwi and especially heart-warming local comedy This Town.

Five years ago, Sean’s (David White) family was murdered. Charged but acquitted of the crime, he is now the most infamous person in the small community of Thiston – his whole life defined by this single event. Despite everything, Sean’s ready to move on, starting where any millennial would: by stepping into the world of digital dating. Pam (Robyn Malcolm) was the officer in charge of the investigation. Tormented by the murders and how a guilty man walked free, she’s been soured against the justice system. Abandoning the police force, Pam has started a small petting zoo and adventure park, but is unable to move on until justice … and an alpaca or two … have been served.

Written, directed, produced and starring David White, This Town is a true Kiwi hurrah of a comedy which strikes out into the local heartland and tells an engrossing tale of true love, deep mystery and the pursuit of the truth. Inspired in part by the infamous David Bain story, This Town is a sweetly funny black comedy and follows two extremely odd, yet likeable characters in the form of Sean (White) and Casey (Alice May Connolly), as they find each other through a dating app and walk down the path to true love. White pulls out the Kiwi flavour with this one and stirs up plenty of great laughs that local audiences will just love, along with telling a very delightful tale of two people who find the truest of love’s together.

Shot entirely in the Central Hawke’s Bay region, This Town takes full advantage of the classic Kiwi farming lifestyle and picks up where Fred Dagg and Barry Crump left off and there’s plenty of Kiwi lols that will certainly get audiences going with this one. The comedy is quirky, original and at sometimes very unexpected and mixed in with all of this is a brooding mystery and dogged determination of Robin Malcolm’s country vigilante investigator Pam who is determined to close the case of a bizarre murder that Sean found himself mixed up in. White nails the black comedy elements of his film, and he can keep audiences on their toes with this one, thanks to a solid script and great casting which features plenty of awesome local talent.

All of the cast of This Town nail their roles in this film, and props must be given to White who does a terrific job of creating a truly endearing character with that of Sean. He’s an extremely ordinary, rather simple guy who just wants to live his best life and strikes it lucky when he runs into Casey, who is played by the delightful Alice May Connolly, and the pair have great chemistry as these two eccentric love birds. Throw in Malcolm’s hard-charging and dogged investigator Pam, along with resident gossip columnist turned ‘investigative journalist’ Janice (Rima Te Wiata) are ready to seek out the truth. All of the cast from main players to supporting characters are all quintessentially Kiwi and give this film a real sense of local authenticity that will go down well with local audiences.

This Town is a true joy to watch, and the local Kiwi flavour and good vibes if its story makes it a very fun watch. There’s plenty to love with this quirky tale, which certainly keeps you on your feet as an audience member and it’s a film that has a lot going for it. There’s no better time for Kiwi’s to be back in cinemas supporting local talent, and This Town is a terrific watch to start back with. Enjoy.

Image: Madman Films