Ray (2004)

Director: Tony Malony

Starring: Dylan Lewis, Gary Brooks

Tagline: Why small town heroes should stay there

I liked how the film began with stock footage of the Hume Weir in the 1960s showing the image the town likes to project to tourists and setting the scene. More films should do this, as there is a great wealth of material in the National Film and Sound archive.

The story is narrated by the grown up version of the boy who lived in the town. He does not like it as it he thinks it was too safe and staid. In a world where the biggest business success is the Hotel/Motel/Boatel and the highlight of the school year is the visit of the Mexican Yo-Yo World Champion, it is easy to see why.

It all seems pretty depressing until we are introduced to Ray (Dylan Lewis), the town garbage collector. He is shown as a wild and crazy man who lives by his own rules. I liked the depiction of his adventures and attitude to life that was made by showing him do things like riding his bike off a diving board.

Critics would say Dylan Lewis normally acts like this, but they probably have only seen him on a couple of TV shows. It has been a while since I have seen him in anything, so it was good to see him again. He should do more short film roles like Angus Sampson, who is becoming a popular for cameo appearances in shorts. Also great was Gary Brooks who plays the young boy's dad. You may remember him from such popular TV shows as Fast Forward and the voice of King Weatie - "it's simply steamed, rolled and toasted."

Apart from the opening stock footage, the rest of the film is shot in a conventional style that suited the story well. I thought the settings and costumes were great, especially Ray's golden belt buckle and the gloves with wings. There were some good cars in the movie also which suited the film's period very well.

Rating: 8/10

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