Director: Jenni Townsend
Writers: Jenni Townsend
Cast: Jenni Townsend, Martin Haddow, Tony Townsend, Heather Roberts
Runtime: 85 min
Australian filmmaker Jenni Townsend stars and directs this feature film that is said to be a love letter to the Scottish city of Glasgow. This independent project utilizes the concept of home in order to bring together a delightful story perfect for those searching for a laid-back film to watch during a quiet and calm night in.
For many years Olivia (Jenni Townsend) has called the world her home. After traveling from place to place she finally decides to settle in Glasgow in order to help her father recover from surgery. The stagnant lifestyle makes her restless at first, but after she meets charming local Sean (Martin Haddow) her feelings about home completely start to change. Her visit in Glasgow will make her ask herself what it is she is after when traveling, and finally understand where she truly belongs.
I really enjoyed the fact that the entire cast of The Pull looks completely natural and believable. Martin Haddow as Sean is ordinarily charming, with the looks of someone that could be perfectly attainable. Jenni Townsend also has a natural beauty that makes her easily relatable to the viewer. This is not to say that the cast is not attractive, it’s just very refreshing to not have an entire film filled with people that fulfill completely unrealistic beauty standards, and despite the fact that they play ordinary people somehow manage to look like they have an entire team of beauty and makeup helping them in their everyday life. It’s not often that you see romantic slice of life films that allow their actors to truly be themselves.
Despite how much the cast enhanced my experience with the film, I couldn’t help but feel like it was all a little lackluster. Although Olivia and Sean’s relationship was endearing, I really didn’t feel the chemistry, and their relationship seemed to progress in quite a mechanical manner, with quite a silly moment of conflict to make it interesting. At the same time, Olivia and her father’s relationship could have been explored much more in order to show Olivia’s relationship with the concept of home in a more detailed manner. Olivia as a whole could have been developed better, and I would have appreciated less of her quirky habits and more of her personal history. This would have made it easier to understand why Olivia felt the need to travel so much.
At the end of the day, The Pull as a whole was quite enjoyable, and while I didn’t find the story and characters particularly compelling, I liked how relaxed the film made me feel. It seems like the cast and crew truly made a project they would enjoy participating in, and there is no pretentiousness to be felt on screen. Glasgow serves as the perfect scenery for what seems to be refreshing weather, and the music also provides a light-hearted breeze to properly set the mood for the events portrayed. This is the perfect film to unwind to after a particularly hard day, one that will not require to completely shut out any distractions, but one that will allow you to comfortably enjoy a feature about self discovery and love.