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A story of escape
greg-233 from Australia
10 November 1999
I came across this film last year by sheer accident. I think "serendipity"
is the appropriate word. My father turned on the television and I saw this
boy and girl sitting in a Ferrari in the dark. For some reason this
intrigued me. I was wondering what a young boy was doing driving around in
Ferrari so I looked in the TV magazine to see what the film was called. The
title, of course, was "Hard Road". It's about a girl called Kelly who is
bored with her life at home. When she meets the well-to-do boy Max she
him to take her on a joyride to Brighton. The film follows the experiences
they share on the journey. I had the good fortune to see this film again
from the beginning as it was on cable television.
The two leading characters are very well drawn. Francesca Camillo is
as the compulsive liar Kelly, who frequently rings Child Line with stories
about her "abusive" father. Max Rennie plays the son of a wealthy
businessman. He too is unhappy with his life and expresses his rebellion
with fake suicides. His prized possession is a 1959 Ferrari, which he cares
for in the same way a doting father cares for his child.
I believe this is essentially a story of escape. The two characters are
breaking free, discovering themselves. The film covers issues like class
(Kelly is the poor one, Max is the rich one),the need children have for
independence and their impatience to grow up, and most of all the freedom
leaving home. Although Max is breaking the law by being an under aged
driver, he is still a sympathetic character. The two children seem to have
cynical and negative outlook on life despite their young age (both are 13
years old), they are children who are just beginning to discover what the
world is really like and try to reject it.
What I find appealing about this film is the reminder of childhood. I was
when the film was made, and I remember how different everything seemed at
that time from a child's perspective. More innocent and naive. Other good
points of the film are the pleasant scenery of the English landscape and
music score. "Hard Road" is a good way to spend an hour and a half, a nice
blend of drama and humour. I even wanted to know what happened to Kelly and
Max after the film ended, but of course this has to be left to conjecture.
have to confess I am curious about what became of the two leading actors,
who would now be in their mid twenties. Max Rennie has appeared in one
movie, made the following year, while Francesca Camillo made her only
appearance in this work. The acting of these two people was above average
and it seems a shame that they have since slipped into obscurity. I hope
they are doing well in whatever paths they have followed.
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