Terri (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/10/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Enjoyable, beautifully shot comedy-drama with likeable characters and terrific performances from John C. Reilly and newcomer Jacob Wysocki, but it loses its way a little in the final act and the end result isn't quite as satisfying as it ought to have been.

What's it all about?
Directed by Azazel Jacobs (Momma's Man), Terri stars newcomer Jacob Wysocki as Terri, a lonely, over-sized teenager who lives in a remote cottage with his not-quite-all-there uncle (Creed Bratton, a particularly genius piece of casting if you're a fan of The American Office) and is becoming increasingly withdrawn at school as a result of the daily teasing he endures. However, when kindly principal Mr Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly) takes an interest in him, Terri' starts to realise what life might be like if he had some friends and soon he's hanging out with school problem child Chad (Bridger Zadina) and coming to the rescue of the girl he likes (Olivia Crociccha as Heather) after she's nearly expelled thanks to the antics of classmate Dirty Zac (Justin Prentice).

The Good
Newcomber Jacob Wysocki is terrific as Terri, a kind-hearted teenager who initially resents being part of what appears to be Fitzgerald's Special Project just because his grades are slipping a bit and he's taken to wearing pyjamas to school. Similarly, John C. Reilly is very funny as Fitzgerald and the pair generate an appealing chemistry together (“What's up, Terr-bear?” “Don't call me that.”) that forms the heart of the film, while Crociccha is utterly adorable as Heather and there's likeable support from both Zadina and Bratton.

Azazel clearly has a lot of affection for his characters and there are a number of beautifully written and directed scenes, in particular a sequence where Terri is asked to kill some mice and then uses their corpses to catch a close-up glimpse of a beautiful bird of prey – his dumb-founded reaction is priceless, but the kicker is the follow-up scene where Fitzgerald sympathetically explains that he's got “a taste for the blood-lust.”

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it loses its way a little in the final act, in that you think the story is headed in one direction but Jacobs has something else in mind and it doesn't quite work. The result is that the film isn't quite as emotionally satisfying overall as it should have been, not least because it more or less cops out of what seems like a fairly important plot strand.

Worth seeing?
Terri is an engaging and enjoyable indie comedy-drama with a pair of terrific performances from John C. Reilly and Jacob Wysocki, but it's let down by a disappointing final act that doesn't quite ring true. Worth seeing, all the same.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 22/09/2018 21:18

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