Verlin is 9 years old and does not talk, nor does he even seem to hear. Henry, a child-like adult, befriends Verlin and pulls him from his shell. Verlin's mother mistrusts Henry, who she ... See full summary »
An independently financed, and with little enough at that, film that was shelved for about four years following its completion, BOOZECAN eventually found distribution in Canadian theatres, also for pay television, and despite its rather harshly embossed subject matter, there is yet a good deal to merit attention for those alert to freshly flavoured cinema. Boozecans are illegal after hour drinking clubs that became popular in the wake of the punk rock movement in eastern Canada, spreading westward from there, while the establishments shown in this piece are primarily cocainecans, and the prominent use of "recreational" drugs by the characters will be offputting to some viewers. Pasqua (Justin Louis), a young man with a police record, minor and possibly not fully justified but adequate to prevent his obtaining a liquor license, is depicted in his efforts to become a legitimate businessman, consistently hamstrung by the less than healthy milieu he frequents and by the company that he keeps. There are several subplots, one concerning a twisted police detective (the ever effective Eugene Lipinski) who is maintaining a sordid private life completely separate from one that he shares with his wife and children, and who additionally is obsessed with catching Pasqua in the commission of an illegal act that will terminate his entrepreneurial career just when fate is about to offer him a boon. The film is strongest when it depicts the seamier aspects of multi-cultural Toronto along with its societal rejects and dropouts, but loses focus whenever a linear narrative is attempted, while poor post-production work, especially sound recording and looping, brings incoherence to a large portion of the proceedings that, subsequently, appear to go nowhere. The cast plays with enthusiasm and individual scenes of a highly episodic script are well-done, and although overmuch cutting and the mentioned acoustic problems may prevent efforts of viewers to understand the storyline, the film's consistent energy must be acknowledged, moving the work briskly along to its suitably ambiguous conclusion.
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