Back Roads

Dark Roads


Director: Alex Pettyfer. Cast: Alex PettyferJuliette Lewis, Robert Patrick. Jennifer Morrison, Nicola Peltz, Tom Everett Scott.

Hollywood has tried to turn Alex Pettyfer into a superstar more than once, but both Stormbreaker (the Alex Ryder movie version of today’s successful TV series for Amazon) and “I am Four” were pretty badly received by audiences and critics alike (and rightly so) and as for ‘Magic Mike’, everybody ended up talking about Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum and little Alex was forgotten (once again, rightly so). So what does Alex do? He finds himself the most harrowing story to direct himself and to prove his dramatic acting chops… Well he certainly has got a ‘brooding face’ in this one…. however that’s pretty much the only face on display.
As for the film itself, “Back Roads” is as messy, broody and relentlessly dark and as the main performance. The ambition of the film is obviously very noble (At least I hope it is) and that is to talk about the mental effects of sexual abuse on its victims (in this case, young children). Pettyfer puts all himself, both in front and behind the camera. The long uninterrupted takes, especially during the crucial scenes, are nicely handled and well judged, but beyond those the film seems to have the same overall depressing tone throughout. No light or shades. No moments to breathe, no real life. In the end the overall effect is one of slight “overkill”.
If it wasn’t because of the subject matter is so grim, one would almost have to laugh at the over-the-top twists. For a film that talks about such a harrowing story, I found myself so incredibly cold and unmoved by it all.

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