Following hot-on-the-heels of recent pick The Mulberry Bush, David Leon and Marcus McSweeney’s explosive drama Man and Boy tackles similar themes (both films orbit around a suspected paedophile) with a very different approach.
Where LaBute’s short showed a lot of restraint in how its narrative unraveled, Man and Boy takes a much more confrontational approach with its head-on storytelling and reverberating conclusion.
A film of tense encounters, violent reactions and powerful performances, this is the type of gritty filmmaking long associated with British cinema.
Opening with on-screen text informing us this is a film ‘based on a true story’ (the film was inspired by the case of Scott Campbell, who fell to his death from a tower block in 2008 after trying to flee a mob who thought he had sexually assaulted a boy), before quickly immersing its audience in the urgency of the situation, there’s no denying this is a film grounded in reality and looking to make an impact.
Driven-on by another outstanding appearance by one of the UK’s most under-appreciated performers, Eddie Marsan, Man and Boy is a taut drama, cleverly edited to leave you always eager to discover the next twist in its tale.
A story where no-one is innocent, it makes for uncomfortable and uncompromising viewing and however hard it is to watch…it feels just as difficult to forget!
The winner of Best Narrative Short award at 2011’s Tribeca Film Festival, where the jury commended Man and Boy for its “marriage of brilliant acting, superb technical prowess and provocative subject matter”, this is a film that has never felt more relevant and a warning of what can happen when society tries to play judge, jury and executioner.