I’d heard goods things about The Way Way Back which hit South African Cinema Screens a few weeks ago, but it’s only showing at the Waterfront Cinema Nouveau (update: one of my readers let me know it’s also on at Blue Route) which is really out of the way for me. Fortunately I finally managed to catch it this weekend, and to say it didn’t disappoint would be a major understatement.
The Way Way Back is the story of an awkward teenage boy named Duncan. Duncan is forced to tag along with his mother and her controlling boyfriend’s family to his holiday home at the beach. Duncan has always had a hard time getting along with other people but this starts to change when he meets Owen, the carefree manager of the local water park.
- Hilariously funny…
- … and emotionally intense
- Interesting characters that feel like real people
- Great performances from all the actors, including the supporting cast
- Surprisingly complex and deep story that feels completely grounded
- The Dean (Community fans keep an eye out for him)
I’m not going to go into full emo story mode here, but I really empathised with the main character Duncan. My family situation wasn’t the best growing up (it wasn’t the worst, but it definitely was far from being a healthy environment for a kid to grow up in), which may have been the reason I was awkward and shy growing up. As a result I really felt a connection with this movie.
On the more objective side, critics have also been giving this movie overwhelmingly positive reviews, so I knew I had to go see it, even if it meant I would lose a fair amount of my day travelling to the cinema. Thankfully I didn’t have to take public transport to get there, but even if I did I would still say this: go watch the movie, it’s damn good and is a welcome addition to the cinema screen, especially considering how stale a lot of major Hollywood blockbusters feel at the moment.