Walter

"Very Good"

Walter Review


The shift from bright comedy to rather grim drama is gradual enough to carry the audience along, but it's rather startling to end up somewhere so serious after such a cheeky start. Director Anna Mastro and writer Paul Shoulberg set this up as a breezy coming-of-age movie before adding a supernatural twist and quietly moving the goal posts. Fortunately, the strong cast and assured filmmaking carry the audience along. So even if it ultimately begins to feel melodramatic, it's also surprisingly moving and meaningful.

Convinced that he has been called by God to decide who goes to heaven and hell, 18-year-old Walter (Andrew J. West) is a perfectionist who maintains order in his life both at home with his over-concerned mother Karen (Virginia Madsen) and at his job taking tickets in the local multiplex. At work, he has his eye on the smart-sexy Kendall (Levin Rambin), but is too shy to speak to her and is teased mercilessly about this by bullying colleague Vince (Milo Ventimiglia). Then a ghost named Greg (Justin Kirk) starts taunting him as well, and Walter finally agrees to see a shrink (William H. Macy) in the hopes of restoring order to his life.

Of course, the point is that Walter doesn't need order: he needs to face up to the truth about the death of his father (Peter Facinelli in flashbacks). But the more he acknowledges, the more his life seems to unravel around him. This is played beautifully by West, a likeable actor who manages to get even more engaging as Walter falls apart. His interaction with the rest of the cast is pointed and witty, packed with knowing commentary and some sharply funny observations. And all of the actors around him bring layers of emotion and energy to the film.

Meanwhile, the filmmakers have a lot of fun with movie imagery, from the cinema where Walter works (he gives customers their afterlife destination along with which screen their film is on) to an empty drive-in theatre that's the setting for the film's emotional climax. Most intriguing is how the shift from sassy humour to moving drama happens almost imperceptibly through a series of revelations that are played with subtlety and earthy honesty. So as Walter begins to confront the delusion that was his happy life, the more challenging reality around him actually feels much more hopeful. And as he finally faces the truth, Walter's journey becomes something anyone in the audience can identify with.



Walter

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 70 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th May 2015

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Anna Mastro

Producer: Mark Holder, Christine Holder, Brenden Patrick Hill, Ryan Harris, Benito Mueller

Starring: as Vince, William H. Macy as Dr. Corman, as Allie, as Kendall, as Karen, as Jim, as Corey

Also starring: ,

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