SXSW 2016 Film Review: Bodkin Ras

SXSW 2016 Film Review: Bodkin Ras

Bodkin Ras is the type of film that leaves you intrigued, with a strange style and raw cast, this film shines on a stage it doesn’t belong.

I’m not sure where to being with this film, I’ve never seen a narrative as eerily impactful and oddly beautiful as this one. This feature, making its North American Premier at SXSW, comes to us from the Netherlands, but the story is set in Forres, Scotland. We’re introduced to the film as locals talk about the town they love, and why they love it. You get the feeling that this is a documentary, and in many ways it is, except the accounts we are given from the locals are in reference to the fictional narrative that takes place. This style was new to me, I’d never seen something like it before, and for a good while I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not.

The actual narrative of Bodkin Ras follows Bodkin(Sohrab Bayat), who moved to Forres from the Netherlands, and being the small town that it is, he’s immediately noticed as an outsider. He forms a connection with a local girl, Lily(Lily Szramko), who resents everything the town stands for, so naturally an outsider is right up her alley. You get the feeling that she’s counting on Bodkin, and their relationship, to eventually take her far away from Forres. The central theme to Bodkin Ras follows the close knit community, who reluctantly but then genuinely takes Bodkin into the fold, unaware of his sinister secret. See, the people in this town all have demons, but the difference between Bodkin and the rest of the group, is that everyone else takes ownership of their problems, and they are accepted for it.

Bodkin Ras Director and Writer Kaweh Modiri achieves a purely unique style with this feature. Who knows, maybe a lot of Netherland’s films are of this style. Maybe I’ve been missing out greatly with my lack of experience with film of that region. I’m doubtful however that many filmmakers all over the word could accomplish such a abnormally stunning feature such as Modiri has done in Bodkin Ras. Bayat’s performance as Bodkin hightens the character, and while playing both an actor and a citizen of Forres, we see superb performances from Szramko and Eddie Paton, who played Eddie in the film.

Unfortunately for Americans, it is difficult for us to get our hands on films such as this. We’re left wondering what other gems may be out there in the world, eluding our hungry eyes. You’re best bet for catching this film is at future film festivals. Although I don’t normally do this, it is important for you to see this film, so keep an eye on for their upcoming screenings. This feature will enlighten you, you’ll no longer believe film has to be done in a certain style.

Official Trailer:

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