Monday, May 21st, 2018
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HITCH HIKE: A Long and Lonely Road

The road of the motherless child is long and hard. So is the process of watching Hitch Hike, a short film about a teenage boy hitching a lift to find his birth mother. Although writer and director Matthew Saville’s story has the potential to be a powerful message that touches on a very real social issue, he shoots far too

Hitch Hike

The road of the motherless child is long and hard. So is the process of watching Hitch Hike, a short film about a teenage boy hitching a lift to find his birth mother. Although writer and director Matthew Saville’s story has the potential to be a powerful message that touches on a very real social issue, he shoots far too wide of the mark for any meaningful impact.

New Zealand is a beautiful country, and Saville is keen to show it off. Long, lingering shots of the antipodean countryside make for a beautiful viewing experience. The film is confidently crafted across all technical elements, from editing to sound design – it is just a shame the story is not interesting enough to warrant this.

It isn’t easy to bore someone over the course of just twelve minutes, but somehow Saville has achieved just that. Aaron McGregor plays the hitch hiker in question, travelling down the long road towards his mother. Angsty and sulky in equal measure with barely a handful of lines to deliver, McGregor has perfected the art of looking solemnly at the ground. Calvin Tuteao, on the other hand, plays the much more interesting (and criminally underused) tattooed driver and the source of the archetypal ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ theme that Hitch Hike explores.

The two actors have an almost negligible chemistry and leave the audience longing for some interaction that does not involve staring wistfully into the middle distance. While Hitch Hike is beautifully shot and put together, an unnecessarily long, uninteresting and unremarkable story lets down what should have been a much more effective concept.

What do you think of Matthew Saville’s short film? Let us know in the comments!

(top image source: NZ Film)

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Thomas is a freelance writer and video editor who spends most of his time complaining about British weather.

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