Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"Writer and director Kevin Meul's humour has an edge so barbed it sinks in like a shoe spike and sticks."

Teenager Steve (Aaron Roggeman) is in training, spurred onward by his trainer, who also happens to be his dad (Robbie Cleiren), a man so driven he insists his son calls him 'coach' and thinks nothing of booting him out of the car with a luminous vest to run home alone at night. The day of a big race is coming and both of them want to win - but at what cost?

Hints of what has caused this dynamic are laced through the film, with questions being raised about the man and boy's motivations. Although the father and son relationship is pushed to the edge, the conversations are still believable, with Steve mostly resorting to the monosyllabic and recalcitrant, "Sorry", when upbraided by dad.

We're in tragicomic territory and Steve is gangling and awkward, focused on the job in hand but not gaining any sort of pleasure from it. He's also not a particularly likeable kid - but we're asked to consider why that is and to wonder what lies beneath the shell created by his hectoring father. His interractions with the other kids on sports day are also believable, a mixture of hormone-fuelled bravado and fear of failure.

Writer and director Kevin Meul's humour has an edge so barbed it sinks in like a shoe spike and sticks. There's room for sympathy but no sentimentality. And he knows how to wield a camera, particularly in the film's most sensitive scene, shot within the confines of two toilet cubicles. Meul tells a full story here but doesn't hand you the prize on a plate - sometimes everyone has to figure things out for themselves.

Reviewed on: 06 Apr 2014
Share this with others on...
A youngster is trained for a big race by his ultra-competitive dad.

Director: Kevin Meul

Writer: Kevin Meul

Starring: Robbie Cleiren, Aaron Roggeman

Year: 2013

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Belgium


Bradford 2014

Search database: