Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Summerland


No, not that British film that came out a few months ago, this is SUMMERLAND! The road trip film that was shot on an RV that was both set and the cast & crew's accommodation. A crazy ride on and off screen.

 

Best friends Bray and Oliver are planning on going to music festival Summerland to celebrate graduation. Oliver’s girlfriend Stacy also comes along, providing a much-needed RV for the trip. Unknown to his travel buddies, Bray has been using Stacy’s photos pretending to be a girl talking to a guy online who he hopes to meet at the festival. Along the way to the festival, the three companions visit different places and cities, determined to have a good time. 

 

There are several ethical things that come up in the story that should be addressed that aren’t really solved, some with little consequence. Ultimately, the story isn’t about such issues, merely points that dress up the main story and theme. Luckily it isn’t cliché as it may seem. Both Bray and Oliver have to accept realities, Bray that he can’t hide behind a lie, Oliver that he has to leave the US. Stacy is the unlucky female character caught in between them, serving the purpose of being the catalyst and victim of their selfishness. She provides the transport for the journey, she practically bank rolls the trip, she is being lied to by Oliver and being used (to an extent) by Bray, for which she never really finds out how or why, at least we assume she doesn’t. Her only reward is that she gets to experience some of the music festival free from the burdens she had at the start. Although one of the fallouts from the trip we don’t see is how her parents react to her taking the precious RV. Oliver and Bray’s journey is both physical, on the road to the McGuffin of a festival and personally. But that fact that Bray was pretending to be a girl in order to meet a guy online is never really addressed properly, which doesn’t quite sit well. Oliver using Stacy’s credit card in Vegas after disappearing on them is also never really addressed properly either. We don’t find out what he was actually doing, again, this doesn’t sit well. It’s difficult to feel for the characters because of these issues but if we think about the fact it’s not about who’s on the journey, it’s the journey itself, it’s easier to just go with the flow of the story.