What it's about:
A young man with Tourette's Syndrome embarks on a road trip with his recently-deceased mother's ashes.
What we thought:
Mental disorders are not a subject to laugh about. First time director Gren Wells tackles it with wit, sincerity, understanding and a lot of heart in this English remake of the German film, Vincent at Sea.
It centres around Vincent (Robert Sheehan), a teenager who has Tourette's syndrome. When his mother dies his father (Robert Patrick), an uptight small town politician, enrols him at a behavioural facility.
There he meets his roommate Alex (Dev Patel), who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and germaphobia and Maria (Zoe Kravitz), who has anorexia.
The trio steal the psychologist Dr. Rose's (Kyra Sedgwick) car and embark on a road trip to scatter Vincent's mom's ashes at the Pacific Coast.
Like any good road trip it is filled with funny moments, heartfelt moments and even a romance. Each of them struggle and grapple with their conditions. Anyone who has ever felt like they are isolated and don’t fit in will relate to it.
A secondary plot is that of Dr Rose and Patrick who too inadvertently go on a road trip to track the three down. Patrick's interaction with Dr Rose gives a look into the other side of the spectrum, how a parent deals with a child's disorder.
The three young actors embody their characters.
Irish actor, Sheehan's tics are extremely painful to watch and the sheer physicality of it is a testament to hard work.
Kravitz who herself has suffered from anorexia got her weight down to 40kg for the role. Her character might be confident but her small frame speaks volumes of the vulnerability she too has.
For Patel who usually plays polished roles, it's great to see him in a different type of role. The debilitating routines that his character does are his prison and you feel his desperation to be freed from it.
The Road Within might not be everyone's cup of tea but it's worth the watch as it has some of the best acting you'll seen in a long time.