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Long Way Back

average rating is 3 out of 5


Alasdair MacRae


Posted on:

Jun 21, 2022

Film Reviews
Long Way Back
Directed by:
Brett Harvey
Written by:
Brett Harvey
Tristan Sturrock, Chloe Endean

Following a tragedy, a father (Tristan Sturrock) picks up his estranged daughter (Chloe Endean) from her university accommodation in Manchester and the pair embark on a road trip back to their former family home in Cornwall.


Like all Dads that think they are cool, David is relentlessly trying to convince his daughter, Lea, that his music taste is the best. For the first hour of this ninety-minute feature, a great deal of the dialogue is consumed by David offering up facts and anecdotes about the bands he loves, from Eels to Yo La Tengo, and the subsequent blunt rebuffing of his knowledge by a captive but thoroughly disinterested teen. Even when the conversation appears to move in a more personal direction little headway is made due to Lea’s dismissive attitude. Her behaviour appears to exceed even the expected snark of the stereotypical teen. Whilst it adds to the intrigue as to why she feels the need to distance herself from her father, it subsequently makes the first hour a tasking watch. This leaves the third act with a rather heavy burden to bear, and this reviewer feels as though the viewer’s reaction to the film’s emotional climax could go either way.


As the title suggests this is quite the protracted road trip. There are detours to David’s foster mother’s house and to Wookey Hole, a series of caves that are a well-renowned tourist attraction, not to mention several delays due to car trouble. When on the road, scenes consist of footage filmed from a dashboard-mounted camera, an increasingly popular technique, think Under the Skin or Taxi Tehran, as well as b-roll of cars passing in mirrors with seemingly endless white lines whipping by. The soundtrack is fittingly divided into a melancholic piano score from Matthew Thomason and sombre songs provided by singer-songwriter Luke Toms, the latter particularly nagging at a sense of nostalgia for a relationship buried by time.


Long Way Back is likely to be divisive. Although not a controversial film the entirety of one’s feelings towards it will largely depend on the ability to stomach the emotional turn it takes in the third act.

About the Film Critic
Alasdair MacRae
Alasdair MacRae
Indie Feature Film
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