Terri (2011)


Pleasant is often overrated, we often feel the need to experience the extremes of emotion but sometimes the middle ground is where we should aim. Life is a great balancing act, so why don't we see more of a balance in everyday life, in politics, in opinions, in media? The middle ground serves the most people, it serves the good of humanity and it can also be the most humane and relatable experience. Terri harnesses the middle ground.

Terri is a wonderful movie, it feels real, it feels human. It is because of this that it leaves us feeling content. You come away from watching this movie with the feeling that everything will be alright. This isn't necessarily because of the story line but more to do with the way director, Azazel Jacobs, handles the content. It is helped greatly  by the performances of the entire cast but especially Jacob Wysocki. I hadn't come across Jacob in any previous movie but he plays the titular character with a quiet confidence that grounds the whole story firmly in reality. Wysocki doesn't over accentuate his emotions or expressions, something, that if you really pay close attention to, is pretty rare within the industry. It is because of this that we really get a sense of the humanity of the titular character.  Terri is a sweet and sensitive, albeit slightly misguided teenage kid. With his parents no where to be seen and with his uncle, his sole guardian,  descending into senility, Terri has to fend for not only himself but he also has to act as a carer for his uncle. Subsequently Terri is a little different, he's a kid that strikes you as a little bewildered with the world. He rocks up to school everyday wearing his pyjamas and he doesn't understand why that's frowned upon. In fact the principle had no response when Terri question why he shouldn't wear pyjamas considering how comfortable they are. You get the sense that he's just a kid wanting to be accepted but wanting to be accept for who he is, not something he isn't. After a few rough days of turning up late he gets called into the principles office and we are introduce to Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly). Fitzgerald is the type of principle the world under appreciates but needs dearly. Fitzgerald is just trying to help, but like some of his students, he doesn't always get it right. As Terri begins to have regular meetings with Fitzgerald he starts to form a bond with the other misfits and he starts to feel accepted, however the road isn't plain sailing. With a few emotional grievances, this is a story of how life isn't perfect, nobody knows what they're doing but everyone's just trying their best.

Much like the nature of humanity portrayed, the soundtrack is beautiful. It may not be subtly weaved into the fabric of the film, it may not be subtle at all but it's powerful, and it's effective. The music feels perfectly at home with the visuals, the characters and the story, creating moments of pure bliss.

You get the feel that the movie could be set in the 70s but the wonderful thing is how timeless it really is. Without giving anything away as to decade of its existence, the story resonates with all ages and all decades. From now until eternity the human heart will long to be accepted and this movie passes a truly human comment on that.

Have you seen Terri? What did you think? Let me know on twitter @danielcodd1994 or in the comments below.