Seven years after “Upstate Story”, Ellis looks back at his life, wondering where it’s going.
Writer/director Shaun Rose becomes Ellis Martin once more and teaches nihilism – you might look at his philosophy in a different light towards the end, though. Rose’s strongest suit is the honest monologues. He offers on screen what you and I have thought, one way or another, at some stage of our lives, but maybe never really expressed out loud. His cynicism gives birth to a faithful sequel, where Ellis still looks for some purpose in life without really putting any effort into finding it – again, stay till the very end. Narrating your own life, and explicating your mundane everyday routine, speaks volumes about who you are and what your mental state is. The balance between drama and comedy is delicate but Rose manages to find it throughout. And all these are the interesting bits, the highly relatable ones.
When he makes it to Toga, there are moments where it feels like a tour of the place he grew up and even though it kind of makes sense to provide most of that information there, a lot could have been sped up or cut out in post to avoid narrative deceleration. Having said that, the way the storyteller decides to tell the story is the way we’ll get to experience it. Some will like it some will not. Inevitably.
So, if you have watched Upstate Story (2018): https://kaygazpro.com/2021/08/17/upstate-story-2018-drama/, watch Toga to see where the hero’s journey ends. If you haven’t… watch both!
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Solidarity for Ukraine 🇺🇦 🙏
P.S. You even get British rednecks! Brilliant!