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'Tom White' is by no means an easy film or, strictly speaking, an enjoyable one. But you come away thinking about the issues it raises, digging as it does into layers of emotional truth and 'life in the margins' (albeit, admittedly, somewhat romanticized).
Tom (a superb performance by Colin Friels) is a man who designs home for a living and then chooses to make himself homeless. Outwardly, he has all the signs of a comfortable, successful life - new home, loving family, successful if stressed career. But his shaking hands show something different - especially when it soon becomes clear that not everything is as it appears at work. Male middle aged 'crisis' is a huge issue in Australia at the moment, and the cause of many unexpected suicides. Tom White chooses a different path and cuts all bonds with his up to now normal life. He has chosen the margins, where those he meets, in spite of their position, have enormous self-dignity - the rent-boy, the ex-junkie, the gentlemanly tramp, the 14 year-old graffiti artist. Tom goes on a journey of his own and plumbs the depths of society, yet he overcomes and discovers his own dignity and understanding of who he is.
As mentioned, it can be somewhat romanticized, and there is little in the way of the real squalor of homelessness, but nevertheless the film presents food for thought in an attempt to present a broader understanding of those who are or chose to live on the fringes rather than endure life without any real meaning.
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