The Boat Review : Welcome aboard

The Boat is an unusual film. A single actor, almost no dialogue and an original script adapted from a previous short-film by the same director : Winston Azzopardi. This thriller, between natural and supernatural, will take you to the depths of the oceans, off the Maltese coast. Welcome aboard….

A sailor, played by Joe Azzopardi, goes fishing on his little dinghy and sees a boat that seems abandoned and in which he will find himself, against his will, prisoner. This boat is Aeolus. The reference to Greek mythology is obvious : Aeolus, god of winds, will therefore direct the sailor and the spectators with his divine hand throughout the film.

Indeed, the boat gradually becomes our hero’s main antagonist, the latter being convinced that someone or something is playing with him in this boat. It’s the first strength of this particular film, to succeed in integrating elements such as a boat, the sea or sound as full-fledged characters in the movie, each having a role to play in the dramatic plot of this unlucky fisherman. Moreover, the Aeolus is often filmed exactly as a human character could have been filmed.

Joe Azzopardi, the only actor in The Boat, has succeeded in making a film without dialogue a work focused on the emotions of a man between madness and despair of survival. His performance takes the audience into the depths of his thoughts, without the spectator being able to hear them. We are witnessing the struggle of a man who isn’t willing to give up on his life and who’s the skills and calm necessary to survive in this frightening boat. We are dragged into the the character’s madness, who thinks he hears (or really hears?) footsteps, like those of a human, or who goes through almost supernatural trials imposed by a mysterious antagonist.

The Boat makes us wonder, and above all, doesn’t fall into the trap of the usual thriller clichés. The character remains locked up in a toilet a good part of the film and we still manage not to get bored, that’s a huge tour-de-force. So be ready, The Boat is coming out on Wednesday the 27th February, and it’s a journey you won’t want to miss…


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