South Padre Parade
The acclaimed film “Toll Booth” will be featured at Island Cinema on Tuesday, March 5.
The writer-director was inspired by the boxed-in existence of the Bosphorus Bridge toll collectors but instead of a social commentary on their tedious existence, the film focuses on an individual collector, Kenan. This 35-year-old still lives with his semi-invalid father who is cared for by a sweet but unrequited girlfriend. Kenan is shy and withdrawn, lives in his imagination and is noticed to be talking to himself while working.
Praised for a fascinating literal and metaphorical take on life in a box, the film is rich in whimsical humor and excellent acting. Kenan is efficient as an automaton taking each driver’s ticket and collecting the toll before allowing the car to pass. Then a driver turns out to be a hallucination of Kenan’s father. Hallucination becomes a device that is used effectively throughout the film.
Their conversation turns to the young Nurgul, the girlfriend who looks after the father and it quickly becomes clear that what we are seeing is happening inside Kenan’s head. Such scenes illustrate how the old man dominates his insecure son and how Kenan’s imaginary conversations have unforeseen consequences. A supervisor notices and transfers him to a lonely booth at a remote location. Rather than serving as a wakeup call, the solitary assignment where nothing happens opens the door to more day dreams. These then include his late mother, his youth and his still-awkward relationship with the opposite sex personified by the hopeful Nurgul and a sexy woman whose car breaks down.
The film beautifully reveals Kenan’s locked up fears and agonies that surface through dreams and nightmarish flashbacks to childhood. These reveries are somewhat surreal, even nonsensical while offering insights to his subconscious. But the film remains light and at times even humorous without any Freudian dissection of Kenan’s personality, but revealing of the character’s sincere emotions.
Ultimately, a woman who passes through the toll booth regularly brings a kind of clarity to Kenan’s life. Exclusive showing at the South Padre Island Cinema is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. Following the film, the audience is invited to light refreshments and conversation in the theatre lobby.
For more information, call Alex Suczek at (956) 761-2969.