November 14th, 2011 | 6 Comments
How tough a job is it to try to stand against Middlesbrough’s current labour MP? Director John Walsh finds out for us in the political documentary ToryBoy, in which he takes it upon himself to hold accountable those who are supposed to be there for us. The result: a blunt exposé combined with a tinge of lightheartedness.
John Walsh makes an incredible revelation in his documentary which portrays Sir Stuart Bell as an infamous, indifferent, and careless Member of Parliament, and more importantly; as one who has never held any regular constituency surgery in Middlesbrough for the past 15 years.
Walsh, born into a working class labour supporting family, aims for the North-East part of England at the general election of 2010. Against all odds, and in the labour heartland, he runs as a conservative candidate in opposition to Sir Stuart, and films the challenge with the aim of disclosing an exclusive insight into Britain’s political customs.
Satirical animation cleverly frames Britain in its political context, and the ironic, constant sound of unanswered phone calls in many scenes of the documentary gives John Walsh’s work a witty flair and depicts Sir Stuart as a sluggish absentee who is barely there for his locals.
Walsh also cunningly forges a relationship with his viewer: he gives the story a sympathetic angle, and reveals the sincere, genuine fears of running for candidacy and going through its hectic procedure. It is as though Walsh finds a subtle way to allow his viewer to relate to his stress, while toning down the tense moments later on with comic incidents, such as putting together a “glamorous suit” for candidacy interviews.
The fun goes on as Walsh amusingly holds at all times a picture of Sir Stuart’s face on a stick, and walks around Middlesbrough asking clueless locals who their member of parliament is.
Written by Ivana Hindi
Ivana is a short film director and fiction screenwriter. Her influence mainly comes from Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. She also enjoys avant-garde European films, and chose to study journalism as a means to become involved with investigative documentary filmmaking as well as film journalism. She is enthusiastic about reviewing documentary films for DocGeeks.
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