A low-budget British indie that’s been picked up for US release by distributor Gravitas Ventures, Musaab Mustafa’s Marooned Awakening is an unusual hybrid of the coming of age drama and an elliptical thriller with a memory theme. A young boy is growing up on a remote island, and desires to start a career as a writer on the mainland. But while his father provides direct opposition, the boy’s aspirations lead him to uncover some secrets about his own past, secrets which may affect his potential future.
Cameron Ashplant, who co-wrote the film with Mustafa, plays Alex, who dreams of making a living as a journalist. That’s not a profession that makes much sense where he currently is, on Guernsey, so a move to a big city seems like the next step for Alex, but his father, a fisherman, stands in Alex’s way. Played by Murray McArthur, an imposing figure familiar from Game of Thrones and Outlander, Alex’s dad still carries grief from the loss of his partner, but Alex’s discovery of a bloody knife on the shore threatens to put addition pressure on a relationship that’s already more than volatile…
Marooned Awakening is a small chamber piece, but with good performances and some lyrical shooting of picturesque locations around Guernsey, it just about gets the nuances of a tricky story over. Tilly Keeper does well with a key supporting role as Alex’s girlfriend, and the deliberately deceptive narrative structure that keeps the viewer alert. There’s a certain pathos behind the trope of the teenage investigator; a youngster will always be keen to discover the truth that the older generation hide, despite reluctance for that information to be shared. So Alex’s developed path makes sense, on a practical as well as a symbolic level, and Mustafa’s spare, careful treatment of the story allows such notions to sing.
Marooned Awakening is a smart little film that has a certain mordant poetry about it, and both Ashplant and McArthur relish the chance to depict some fierce family conflict. If the dialogue occasionally trips into ‘You can’t run away from the truth’ clichés, the overall effectiveness of Marooned Awakening makes it an effective little calling card for talent in front of and behind the camera.
Marooned Awakening hits VOD in the US from today, Feb 21st 2023. Thanks for access.
i like chamber pieces, especially if the director is content to chamber around rather than feel obliged to expand the picture usually in some bizarre direction. Never heard of any of those involved but always good to find new talent.
Yup, this sticks the landing, and some of the cast members look like they’ll be better known before long…
This quite appeals to me. Adding it to the list!
Is a sensible answer.
Oh boy, here we go again with out of touch producers who think The Big City is the end all and be all. Everybody knows a REAL writer needs solitude and can simply email his schlock to the publishers, where it will join the 10,000 other pieces of slush that will go into the reject pile. Only someone, like the producers, think A Big City has anything to do with it.
While I can understand stupid teenagers wanting to go to the big city, the producers shouldn’t pander. But I don’t think they are pandering. They are simply being the egotistical, problematic jackasses that I know ALL producers are deep down in their little hearts. Which they don’t actually have, because they sold them to the devil.
In terms of failing as a writer, you don’t have to go to the city, you can easily do it from home.
Exactly! Bloggers everywhere prove that point on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
I am glad we can agree on this important issue.
Hands Across the Water and all that.
That’s progress for you! Today, writers can fail from home!
Not like the olden dayes when you had to trudge to London or New York City and live on the streets until you made it or died of tuberculosis!
Now you can stay home, fail AND die from covid.
man, is this a dream world we’re living in or what?
Straight to VOD?
I think it’s on in Chisick tomorrow if you can make it down.
Chiswick, that’s somewhere in London I believe. So nope, not travelling to that cesspit. Anyways I’d like to see this because of McArthur so a yep for the movie. But not for Chiswick. Maybe it’ll come to Netflix.
I’ll keep you posted! McArthur is good in this…
I had a soft spot for him in GOT.
Think he’s in the new Willy Wonka movie…
Well I won’t be seeing that.
I’m sure there are lots of people who’d love to be marooned on Guernsey with Alex. Just maybe not this Alex.
This is part of my series of films featuring characters called Alex, inspired by you. Alex in Wonderland, Ice Cold in Alex, we’ve got all the latest Alex action. I think this Alex is not you, since he’s a strapping young man.
Which version of Alexander the Great are you covering? Alex Doesn’t Live Here Anymore?
Living Next Door To Alex, starring Alex Arquette and Alexia Silverstone…
‘Alex Hugo’ Fed-up with his violent daily life, former Marseilles police officer Alex Hugo chooses leaves the city and the violence he can no longer bear. Also it’s French!
Sounds great! I also fancy Wizards Return; Alex vs Alex! Potential for a dual role…
Or Planet Alex!
There is a plethora of Alex movies! He’s been a busy boy.
Alex and the Gypsy!
Jack Lemmon and Genevieve Bujold.
strange combo. Whicih one is the gypsy or are they both? And which one is ALex?
In that order.
Like there’s ever any order in this place!
There is order, as Sister Act 2 follows Sister Act. That is order.