March 2021: TV / Film Reviews
It’s a Sin and Boy
It's a Sin (18)
Starring Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West and Nathaniel Curtis - All 4
Concentrating on the HIV and AIDs outbreak during the 1980s in Britain, the drama from Russell T Davis takes the viewer on a rollercoaster of emotion. There are the highs of truly loving who you are and feeling free enough to express this, coupled with the lows of an unknown virus that took many lives during this decade.
It’s a Sin boasts a stellar cast, with Olly Alexander of Years and Years fame cast in the main role as Ritchie Tozer, a gay man living in London with his friends after moving for university. Over the course of the next ten years, the drama follows Tozer and his group consisting of Roscoe Babatunde (Omari Douglas), Colin Morris-Jones (Callum Scott Howells), Jill Baxter (Lydia West), Ash Mukherjee (Nathaniel Curtis) and Gregory Finch (David Carlyle) enjoy life while being plagued by the virus.
There are also appearances by household names such as Stephen Fry, Keeley Hawes, Shaun Dooley, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Neil Patrick-Harris.
A difficult topic to cover, Davis and his team created a drama that educated, made people laugh as well making them cry as they learned the reality of what it was like to be a gay man during this time. The five-part mini-series became Channel 4’s most binge-watched show on its streaming platform, having been streamed 6.5 million times at the time of writing. The first episode was also Channel 4’s biggest drama launch.
5 out of 5 stars
Starring James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu and Taika Waititi - Amazon Prime
Boy is a 2010 film directed by Taika Waititi and is based on an 11-year-old Māori boy that dreams of Michael Jackson and his father, Alamein (Taika Waititi). Boy (James Rolleston) lives on a small farm in Waihau Bay, New Zealand, with his grandmother, his little brother Rocky (Te Aho Eketone-Whitu) and his cousins.
The comedy-drama follows Boy as he plays with his friends, tackles school and tries to impress popular girl Chardonnay (RickyLee Waipuka-Russell) without much luck. Then out of the blue, his estranged father Alamein returns. He tells his two sons, Boy and Rocky, that there is a treasure he needs to find on his mother’s farm. Amid digging hundreds of holes, Boy tries to reconnect with his father who he idolises, with arguments and laughter along the way.
Heart-warming with a hint of drama, Boy is the perfect film to watch during this extended lockdown. It leaves the viewer with a sense of escapism to a different era, the innocence of children and the allure of New Zealand.
4 out of 5 stars