Thunder Road 2019 ****

The low-budget indie-smash is a lesser-spotted variety of film these days; Jim Cummings’ development of his own short into Thunder Road proved that lightning can still strike. Cummings writer, directs and stars in this story of a diligent cop called Jim, who we first meet in a long, painful shot capturing his grief at his mother’s funeral. Jim’s mother loved dance, and Jim has prepared a tribute based around her favourite Springsteen song. But when the CD doesn’t play, Jim’s performance goes viral and damages his relationship with his colleagues, and with his daughter Crystal (Kendall Farr). Thunder Road is a micro-budget film, but makes a virtue of a narrow scope by showing real sensitivity to the relationship between Jim and Crystal. Jim is a complex character, needy, strident, and anxious for success but lacking the skills to get what he wants. Cummings brings his central character to life in a series of unforced, gentle scenes that make Thunder Road something of a triumph of minimalist indie cinema.


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