On a beautiful day, two people, Dave (Dave Johns) and Fern (Alison Steadman), bump into each other while walking their dogs. Upon their first meeting, Fern is shocked to find that Dave’s dog is not on a leash, and she explains how scared her dog is because of it. From this, Dave, and Fern both walk away from each other in slight frustration.
The two only cross paths again while walking their dogs. This time Dave is now using a leash and the two strike up a more friendly conversation and start over. What started as two strangers trying to walk their dog develops into a beautiful new friendship and perhaps something a little more in due time.
Actors Alison Steadman & Dave Johns share tremendous chemistry on screen together. It is quite evident that both characters live a somewhat lonely life. Soon we also find out about their current challenges in life and past wounds. To my surprise, the film also brings an element of mystery regarding characters, especially when it comes to things holding them back from having a closer relationship with each other.
The filming style in 23 Walks is excellent. Everything is easy to follow, especially as our leads generally walk and talk. I also have a fond appreciation for the locations used in this film which include beautiful places such as parks, streets, and woods. The dialogue at times made me feel as if I was watching a stage play.
23 Walks is most certainly a drama film even though the film delivers a few aspects of humour here and there. The film’s soundtrack was also a delight.
Overall, 23 Walks is a dramatic film about two people striking up a new and powerful friendship. Performances are most certainly well-acted, and the set locations are also great. In the end, it is truly a gentle and sweet film even if some of the topics are not quite relatable for all ages.
23 Walks (2020) is Showing in Australian Cinemas from 30th July
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Review Written by Peter Walkden