Please note – “Walkden Entertainment” would like to pass on their deepest condolences to the family of the actor Damian Hill. Damian plays the lead role in West Of Sunshine and sadly died around the time of this film’s release in Australian Cinemas last year.
West of Sunshine’s focus is on a father, Jim (played Damian Hill), who is in debt to a powerful man. This powerful man is threatening Damian with consequences if the end does not make payment of the day. On the same day, it’s also Jim’s turn to look after his young son, and he must work on the road as a local courier driver.
From the start of the film, we learn that Jim can’t seem to catch a break. To make matters worse, he makes an inferior decision and turns to gambling to get him out of debt. Sadly the gambling only digs Jim further in debt and adds more problems to his life. The pressure is now on for Jim, and while this film focuses on one day of Jim’s life, the question is can Jim get out of all his problems.
While the film’s setting is based all in one day, the film tells its story at a quick and speedy pace. It gets straight to the point and doesn’t get bothered with other plot points or give the audience lots of side characters. The key focus here is clearly on Jim as he deals with his struggles and the pressure which have come from making poor life choices. I also personally enjoyed the added concept of fatherhood that was explored here.
While the story of a man owing money to a powerful personage isn’t anything new, the film does get a little creative with its overall tone and filming style, especially visually. It’s also quite clear that this film has been entirely filmed within the city and streets of Australia.
When it comes to performances, I will give praise to Damian Hall, who brings excellent performance and energy to the screen. As the viewer, it’s simply impossible not to feel for the character. Let’s face it- the film reminds the world that no one is perfect, that we’ve all made mistakes in life and that we all seek second chances wherever possible. By the end of the film, I felt grateful and honoured for having witnessed one of Damian’s Hall final performances as an actor. I also took a positive meaning from this film which I didn’t expect.
Overall, there are many elements to enjoy about this Australian film. It’s a short, quick film that keeps on point without any significant problems. Sure, the plot isn’t anything new or different, but with a pleasing performances in particular from Damian Hill, thankfully there is a freshness in both style and the way the story is told.
West of Sunshine (2019) is Now Available on DVD!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden