Coming of age Indie flick Moon Dogs brings a bizarrely brilliant tale to our screens. A love triangle of sorts mixing a cocktail of brooding teenage angst, sexual awakening’s and the power of good music. Initial thoughts will be to switch this off as dud opening lines between couple Michael and Suzy emerge, not exactly hooking us in. But fear not, Downton Abbey’s TV director Philip John brings writers Derek Boyle and Raymond Friel’s drama truly alive with some deeply funny comedy.
After missing a rather important exam which results in Michael having to defer University for a year, it dawns on him that his girlfriend is moving away and things just won’t be the same. After a very awkward Skype session, Michael thinks it’s time to go see Suzy and desperately try to rekindle their relationship and the only way he is going to do that is with the help of eccentric step-brother Thor. The two embark on a journey from Shetland to Glasgow; yet they need food, supplies and above all else money to get there. Convinced they can pull off pretending to be someone’s wedding band, waitress Caitin saves them from humiliation by lending her vocal cords to this shambles of a duo and becomes the third musketeer in this little adventure.
Tara Lee as the flirtatious Caitin brings a powerful female oozing with confidence to our screens; she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. Using her curvy-feminine ways to woo both brothers into falling for her, the two boys who had virtually nothing in common are now closer than ever so to speak. The thrill and pang of a new found connection and primal urges consume this trio allowing them to express themselves and ultimately Michael to see that his relationship with Suzy is well and truly dead. A bittersweet and enduring message lies at the beating heart of this narrative. Relatively unknown actors Jack Parry Jones and Christy O’Donnell bounce beautifully off one another’s oddness as step brothers Michael and Thor which is sure to get them on the radar.
The exploration of the boy’s family is both fascinating and sad; awkward and hilarious to watch their interactions with one another. Not only to do we see the two brothers wanting to get rid of the parental straight jacket, we have their parents struggling with their sons flying the coop – not forgetting the fact that Thor won’t wear the Viking outfit with his dad anymore.
Like many others that have come before, Moon Dogs proves that you can make one hell of an engaging film on a minuscule budget. The film managed to have a successful festival run as well as winning Jury award for best film at Newport Beach Film Festival along the way – if this film does nothing else it is sure to inspire young filmmakers to put their mind to making that film they always wanted to.
Ultimately, Moon Dogs is a unique film that speaks to the teenager in you.
Moon Dogs is out in cinemas now!