by Kelsey Straight
Laura Mahlberg’s illustration of an old man who starts walking towards California from his caravan entire countries away (in Russia!) is a new take on the classic road movie, except here our protagonist is fifty years past coming-of-age and still in pursuit of better prospects in the west. One could say that the film has come a few decades after its genre’s peak, and the main character coincides with that reality. Visually stunning cinematography offers an array of sensations to the film, and despite a slow-going pace and essentially meek protagonist, audiences will revel in the look and the stories in the eyes of this character, a man full from his years and still searching for more.
The landscapes evoke in audiences the magic of the countryside when seen in widescreen formats, and the protagonist’s trek through fields of green – full of sheep and ideas for the future – offers a lot to cinema, especially coming from such a niche project. If one’s grandfather confessed that he was going to walk across the entire world in search of California, he’d probably be admitted to an old folk’s home, but Mahlberg’s film sets this man free from his age and into an old world made new again. Change clicks on and off inside of him and proves that coming-of-age is a process that occurs over and over again throughout our lives. We’re never too old to dial a friend across the world and confess to needing something new before everything feels done forever and for always.
Rating 3 / 5 : See it ….. It’s Good