Imagine coming across a destructive car accident. It’s absolute chaos and there is debris everywhere. Both cars are written-off and it’s unclear whether anyone has survived.
You can’t look away.
That’s The Boy Castaways, a new film and directorial debut from esteemed theatre director, Michael Kantor.
Now imagine your relief when you realise the firemen have activated the Jaws of Life and the people involved in the accident may have a chance at survival.
That’s Megan Washington’s performance. Her sensational singing voice is the film’s only element that is used at its full potential.
The film’s synopsis on its official website lets us know that “four drifters find themselves lured into a vast playhouse, deep in the heart of the city”.
The strange thing about that is three of the four male leads are only introduced as established affiliates of the bizarre and labyrinth-like playhouse. Their origins are never explained and Kantor – who also cowrote the film – leaves the audience wondering who these characters are and what the hell they’re actually doing in this madhouse.
One would be excused for thinking the whole narrative is set in a lunatic asylum where no one has any grasp on reality at all.
“Apart from Washington’s underused singing voice there’s absolutely nothing to like about it.”
The film’s title is another head-scratcher. It’s obviously named after Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie’s intimate story for the Llewelyn Davies family, The Boy Castaways of Black Lake Island, because pictures from the book flash on random television screens around the playhouse… But why? How does The Boy Castaways relate at all to Barrie’s swash-buckling tale?
The Boy Castaways is film making in its most amateur form. Apart from Washington’s underused singing voice there’s absolutely nothing to like about it.
The cinematography is a disaster and the script is kept to a bare minimum. The acting is dreadful, especially from a very inconsistent Tim Rogers who seems to go from a bad, flamboyant Baz Luhrmann character to someone from one of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Wouldn’t you prefer someone who can act and sing well than someone who can not act and sing great or in Rogers case someone who cannot act and cannot sing. He’s by far the single most annoying cast member.
Executive producer Robert Connolly has proved his Cinema Plus model works with movies like Mystery Road and The Turning achieving good box office success. But let’s hope we’re not subjected to too many more stinkers like Kantor’s through the Cinema Plus paradigm.
The Boy Castaways: 1/5
Directed by: Michael Kantor
Starring: Paul Capsis, Marco Chiappi, Tim Rogers, Megan Washington, Mark Leonard Winter
Review by: Matthew Eeles