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It's Ok to be Different

average rating is 4 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Aug 17, 2022

Film Reviews
It's Ok to be Different
Directed by:
Robin Toyne
Written by:
Morwenna Banks

The director Robin Toyne along with the team strongly believes in combining Drama, Cinema and Creativity together to provide these youngsters with additional needs the medium of expression so that the audience also gets an opportunity to understand and connect to their life stories on an emotional level with the wonderful narration by Morwenna Banks.


The plot of the film revolves around Cornwall's unique theatre group for children with special needs drawing on their experiences of living through Covid to devise a new play. With humour, heart, and honesty they tell it as they see it. There are a lot of challenging perceptions of disability from the first rehearsal to the premier at Cornwall's iconic Minack theatre, inviting us into their colourful world.


The cinematic piece follows a nonlinear storyline taking the form of a narration. The DOP Mat Lingard captures a close-up shot of a man rolling out the red carpet followed by a series of mid-shots and long shots to give an insight into an award ceremony establishing the subject matter of the movie and making it engaging for the viewers. The colour platelet, set design, lighting, dialogues, costume, and makeup has been kept natural by the filmmaker so that the viewers get to experience a sense of realism while watching the documentary and also salute these extraordinary people to fight through all the hardships to emerge stronger each time.


The members of the Drama Express led by Simon Allison (Creative director, Drama Express) and his wife Emma Allison support the youth to realize and achieve their dreams of performing on stage just like their peers in the regular world with the help of volunteers and specialists. Drama Express ensures that it works with utmost commitment, sincerity, and care toward the individual needs of everyone.

Richard Spain (Amelia's Dad), Carolyn Schuoler (Jimmy's Mum), Bonita Wallis (Ruby's Mum) and others feel immensely happy that their children are in the safe hands where they will get the wings to fly towards their goal and aspirations and not live with the fear of the need to fit in the society.


It's Ok to be Different talks to its audience about accepting self as they are and appreciating the feeling of being valued by family and friends and not trying to fit into someone else's criteria. This documentary deals with the challenges of parenting during the pandemic especially in the case of differently-abled children. The cinematic piece educates the viewers regarding being open and willing to stay true to showcasing the real personality and avoid wearing a mask to cover up as fakeness does not work on a long-term basis. The creative piece reiterates the importance of songs that help to express all kinds of emotions. The film aims at normalising the notions relating to disability and appeals to the masses to become empathetic towards it but still respect the person for whom they are. The Drama Express gives these young people an opportunity to explore social skills like friendship and beat the feeling of sadness, anxiety, and loneliness which were the byproduct of the pandemic.


Robin Toyne (Director) and Mat Lingard (Cinematographer) have jointly co-produced this project and I want to appreciate all their efforts to make such a beautiful and impactful movie accessible to a wider audience.



About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
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