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Good Boy

average rating is 3 out of 5


Brian Penn


Posted on:

Oct 2, 2023

Film Reviews
Good Boy
Directed by:
Tom Stuart
Written by:
Tom Stuart
Ben Wishaw, Marion Bailey

What do a VW Camper Van, vintage hand gun and a dead pigeon all have in common? They all feature prominently in this curious but engaging short film by Tom Stuart. We have a collection of characters and a protagonist with his needy mother in tow. But our hero is also dragging some weighty baggage around with him; but can they all possibly fit in the VW Camper Van.


Danny (Ben Whishaw) is confronted by a sea of red notices and appears to be drowning financially. Eviction from his home looms large as everything begins to close in. He does have dizzy but lovable Mum Jackie (Marion Bailey) by his side. But she seems unable or unwilling to talk any sense into him. Danny decides to cure his woes with a visit to the bank; however with a firearm in his back pocket he’s probably not looking for a loan. Well desperate times do sometimes call for desperate action. Along the way his efforts are stymied by various characters who obviously know him. A doctor pursues him in the street, a funeral director, vicar and nurse also cross his path but what does it all mean. Are these people from his past, present or even future?


The film benefits hugely from Ben Whishaw’s presence as the befuddled and likeable Danny. Similarly, Marion Bailey’s familiarity from many TV and film appearances adds a cosy feel. There’s an ambiguity in the narrative that naturally draws the viewer in. The characters could be viewed as symbolic of the circumstances in which he finds himself. The final scenes between Danny and Jackie are quite touching as she reassures him what a very good boy he is. It’s all interpretational and raises more questions than it answers. Perhaps that’s the beauty of a film like this. Life is never straight forward and always multiple choice.

About the Film Critic
Brian Penn
Brian Penn
Short Film
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