hopscotchee: fionn whitehead score: 96 rating: R time: 99 minutes
is it appropriate to belt out shealeigh's disney n.b.t hit, what can i say, right now?? obviously we would be belting out a parody version of the song. like if the lyrics were, what can i say / to you / when it all is too perfect / seems like with every shot you play / we're slowly obsessing your way. the song is already sick on its own, but that would be a tight parody. hashtag 5sos, just saying. okay, so, we're not gonna lie. the film that this review is clearly over, roads, is one of our favorite movies EVER. bold statement for a fresh 19 years of life experience, but we mean it. the quality of this film is undisputedly tender and pure. then, before you know it, the 99 minutes has passed, and you find yourself as a completely changed person. caused by the syrupy slow drip of its gentle, soft-hearted center plot and secret lacing of affectionate, cross-cultural kinship, the natural human in you can't help but fall in love with gyllen and william's relationship!!
starting only where we feel it's most fitting, we have to discuss lighting. right away with the first scene, you know that the lighting crew is coming to play. and not only play - WIN!! for instance, when we cut to see (spoiler) william watching gyllen from afar in the rocky-hill-esque area, we are aware that someone is watching but aren't quite sure who yet. and this is because instead of working the camera and shot around face-lit or even side-lit lighting, the crew and director chose to have the setting night sun light from behind william. this way there is almost a silhouette of his figure. and they continue this throughout most of the scene (obviously, obviously, keeping continuity). and not only does this show off the exquisite location in this scene, but this is what we like to call hellarealistic(tm). and, let's clarify, we LOVE hellarealistic anything - but especially lighting. because, unfortunately, we rarely see this in movies. most of the time, filmmakers put in extra lights to show off and illuminate their cast but at the cost of the authenticity. think about it this way, when you walk about a street, does the sun ask you where it should be to make you look the best at all angles?? if so, please send the sun's contact in the coms. all seriousness aside, we can't only give credit to the lighting team, we gotta give the cred to the cinematographer!! throughout the film, every still is an eye-gem. a quality example of this is when (spoiler) the two boys are riding on paul's motorcycle against the night sky that's completely engrossed in the warm hues from the street lights. this brunt orangey viewscape was unbelievable and breathtaking. commending this work would be insignificantly childish to the craft. that would be like the golf clap of all claps. however we, as a society, haven't discussed what the next level of praise would be. 🤷♀️
equally awestruck-ing was the slam-dunk teamwork of editing and score. notably, the use of contrast cuts up-leveled the film's storytelling. these cuts being anything from where the scene is all dark and then it cuts to a sun-bright scene, like when (spoiler) william and gyllen are taking a quick shower before heading out for more travel, or when the scene is soft and quiet and then it cuts to a loud and busy scene, like when (spoiler) gyllen, william, and luttger (aka lion man / aka the blessed german / aka hash bro) are stuck in traffic trying to leave morocco. sometimes appearing jarring, the use of these transitions (when done right like roads) help the film be dynamic, entertaining, and engaging to an audience instead of using simple, same, and stale transitions that are monotonous to the audience. this said, roads accomplished the work of the dynamic transitions with high marks and went even further to interweave their magnificent score like a hexafish rainbow loom!! the melodic notes rising and lowering in compelling movements paralleled to the film, the score blissfully eases you from one location to the next while capturing your emotions along the way. basically, to sum it up, the editing and music composition deserve a french chef kiss!!
finally, roads wouldn't have been the same without the writing. we made a perfect on our favorite line, but, equally, the last line of this film is compassion-clutching. never cheesy nor infopackety, the story eases into your lives and methodically - yet subtly - manages to include plots, twists, and several memorable moments without even blinking!! it is surprising to watch how perfectly the script unfolds itself. one minute you are listening to a casual, everyday convo about sport team preferences and next thing you know, you just got your plot and direction of the film. we mean, it's kinda mind-blowing-ly genius.
so, now at the end of the road (hashtag boys II men), if there is nothing else to love, the bonding, bro-ship, even a tad hint of a lovey dovey storyline (if you want to read into it a bit) in this film is the true definition of heartfelt. we implore you to go and watch roads in all its glory (hashtag goddess britney spears). why?? 'cause, to simply put it, this exquisite piece of art called roads made our day.
-- thanks, fionn (aka a gazelle with beautiful eyelashes) xo