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Tom is forty. He walks out one day, rather abruptly, on his wife and baby boy and his seemingly happy life. He finds himself living on the streets of London. One night alone in a park he is mistaken for a gay man and is set upon by a gang of violent thugs. In A&E the next day Tom meets Aidan, the happiest, fast-talking individual you are ever likely to meet, the complete opposite of Tom. Too polite, or too weak to ask him to leave him alone Tom tries to get away from this child-like man but with little joy, Aidan sticks to Tom like glue. Tom reluctantly becomes involved in Aidan's life and he quickly realizes that Aidan has problems too. Aidan's 'girlfriend' Linda verbally and physically abuses him on a regular basis. Will Tom overcome his own problems in order to help his new 'friend'? Will Tom ever make it back home - and why exactly did Tom leave home in the first place? Written by
I sought Treacle Jr out at the London Film Festival, on the strength of The Low Down.
What stands out is the intensity of the two lead performances. Gillen shows some very impressive range. Going 180 % from from playing the Mayor of Baltimore to a desperate and guileless character like this. While Tom Fisher plays off him very effectively as a credible and fairly sympathetic man, who is clearly out of his depth and dealing with major emotional problems of his own.
The early scenes, where Tom tries to gently deflect Aiden's advances, without being unkind, came off as very well judged and authentic. Tom's growing connection to Aiden, which develops into instincts of protectiveness, was very believably handled and well paced.
The film's low-key visual approach and use of gentle observational humour help carry it along smoothly. In summary, Treacle Jr is a very engaging watch if you like performance driven films.
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