You might remember Booked Out from my March film suggestions post. I was desperate to go and see it but, as it's an Indie movie, it wasn't screening anywhere near me. Then its director, Bryan O'Neil, got hold of me on Twitter and offered to send me a screener DVD. \0/ Herray! \0/
I love Indie movies. All my favourite films are smaller budget ones. I don't know why that is, but I sometimes thing is because smaller budgets usually translate into better stories. Or crazier stories. Or both. I surely feel that sometimes bigger budget movies compromise on the plot in order to hit targets or add more explosions and special effects.
Booked Out tells the story of Ailidh, an aspiring writer and artist, who uses as inspiration for her stories and her art the people who live in her block of flats. And they all have a story to tell! An old lady who talks and behaves as if her dead husband was still living; an young woman who has lost the will to live; an old boy paranoid about aliens; and an enigmatic and cute young stranger who comes in and out of the building as if he's not part of anything.
Ailidh is also a manic pocket rocket. She knows what she wants and she will find a way to have it. Unable to stand still and always into something strange and wonderful. Unwilling to bend to any rules or stick to conventions, she takes the people and events around her by storm. And I guess, for all these little quirks I really sympathize with her. Ok, I don't take it as far a stalking my neighbours, although I do watch people. You can't write about human emotions and behaviours if you don't know them well.
Booked Out is really a story about grief and hope. Working through sadness and finding new reasons to smile after something pulls the rug from under your feet. But while that sounds a little grim, it highlights you can't do it without letting people into your life. People like Ailidh, who bring new vibes, new energy, new horizons and a new breath of fresh air. In the end, it's about finding the light at the end of the tunnel or tuning the corner (all the clichés are coming out today!).
I don't think I need to say I loved this movie. There are little things that could be better, but I reckon that's mostly because of scene selection. I would have swapped some of the scenes for the deleted scenes, as they make the story make more sense plot wise. The scene where Jacob finally reads Ailidh's novel, for example. Just before that she takes the book back from his door step, but then it reappears in his hands. How did it get there if she took it back? They are all small details, though, that in their own way make the film more artistic, but can be spotted by annoying, copy editing obsessed people like me. *_*
The story is fascinating and as weird as it's wonderful. A credit to Bryan for not only directing, but also writing it. If you are part of a film club, or have an independent small cinema near you, you might want to convince them to screen this movie. It's definitely worth watching.
For more information on screenings visit the Booked Out website or contact Bryan O'Neil, the director, through Twitter: @Bryan_ONeil he is super friendly and will love your feedback and interest. You can also buy or rent the DVD from the film's website.
Film Rating: *****
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