Tommy

Tommy is a little boy navigating his parent’s separation , which to him feels like a war where there are no winners.

Genre: Drama

Length: 19:19

Pay Per View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Deb Morgan, Darren Mort

Director/s : Scott Dale, 

Writer/s : Scott Dale, Philip Cristian Claassen

Actor/s : Ari Newman, Simone Ball

 

Crossfire

Poor Tommy, caught in the crossfire of his mother and father’s mutual hatred and bitter custody battle. Mum has a new relationship; with a woman, and that’s a lot for Tommy to deal with. She spots bruising on Tommy’s arm, and assumes it’s the dad’s doing.

Dad too has a new girlfriend, but she calls him Timmy, and snorts coke, something no kid should see. Dad is feckless, but not evil. When he spots the bruising, he assumes it’s the mum.

We see the fights through Tommy’s eyes, and watch him escape to is his imaginary friend, Tiger Terry, an adult-sized tiger. Darren Mort coproduced this adaptation of his own book Tommy and Tiger Terry with a clear and good-hearted purpose to throw light on the damage done to children by feuding parents.

It’s all very professionally produced and directed, including stunning dream/nightmare sequences shot on a submarine. You wouldn’t feel sold short if you paid to see this in a cinema. Camerawork and acting is superb throughout, especially Ari Newman who holds it all together as Tommy.

The film is structured first in mum’s house, then in dad’s, and a climactic confrontation between all four grown-ups (who hardly deserve to be called adults) at a handover. The question of where the bruises came from builds tension and intrigue, and ideally, you’d want a character like Tiger Terry to be more significant in completing Tommy’s story. Taken together, they promise another level, like  Donnie Darko. But – plotline spoiler – there’s no plotline to spoil, the question of the bruises isn’t resolved

Tommy is a tragedy, like life for children caught in such situations, so the film’s only problem isn’t the lack of a happy end. It’s a sense of unfulfilled potential, and it weakens the drama, if not the moral.

No screener available