Getting on With Life
To his wife it must have seemed like any other day but for Tom Evans (Tom Fisher) it was a day of change as after leaving in the car after breakfast with his family he gets the train to London where he throws away his phone and destroys his cards and starts a life of homelessness as his state of despair has lead him to want to give up. But he soon is on the harsh end of living rough when he is attacked by some thugs in a park and ends up in A&E. It is there he meets Aidan (Aidan Gillen) a loud, talkative Irishman who seems to have no awareness of how annoying he is. Initially embarrassed by the loud Aidan they soon become surprising friends as Aidan takes him back to his where he lives with his cat and his abusive girlfriend Linda (Riann Steele). It is a friendship which will make Tom think as he sees how Aidan lives and experiences his innocent joy of just getting on with life.
If you have never heard of "Treacle Jr." I wouldn't be surprised as it is one of those low budget, independent movies which get shown at film festivals but generally doesn't get the distribution which it deserves. Yet this is the sort of movie which will get mainstream fans more interested in the delights of independent cinema. In fairness it isn't for everyone, you need to be able to appreciate the look at real life as well as the acting but if you do it is a little diamond.
Now "Treacle Jr." is very simple as we have Tom who for all sense and purpose is suffering a midlife crisis and decided to walk away from the comfortable life he had and throw it all away, quite literally when he throws his mobile phone into the pond. Tom is the sort of person who if he saw Aidan in the street would cross over to avoid him as he is a snob, not posh but representative of the middle class snobbery which is very real. But when he meets Tom he begins to reassess his own life and own state of depression through the way that Aidan deals with his life. Now Tom Fisher gives a nice performance as Tom almost reminiscent of Rodney from "Only Fools and Horses" in its ordinariness but it is perfect.
And the reason why it is perfect is because "Treacle Jr." is not big enough for two big performances and it is Aidan Gillen who delivers the big performance as Aidan, the easy going Irishman who talks loud, talks quick and often talks complete rubbish. But what Gillen does is make Aidan such a lovable character despite being loud and annoying, his innocent enthusiasm for life is infectious. It actually makes you think about your own life as to anyone else Aidan has a bad life; a troubled childhood, a violent girlfriend of sorts but in his innocence or possibly simplicity he doesn't allow it to get him down and just gets on with his life with a smile on his face.
What this all boils down to is that "Treacle Jr." is a fantastic movie with a fantastic performance from Aidan Gillen which is not only very real but makes you think about life, about misery, depression and wallowing in your own self pity. And as I said this is the sort of movie which whilst obviously low budget and independent is the sort of movie which would make those not into independent cinema a little more receptive to watching movies outside of their comfort zone.