Tollbooth – toll collector’s secret life impacts many in the Welsh countryside
Tollbooth is a darkly comic thriller about a lone toll-booth operator with a past that is fast catching up with him. Brendan works solo shifts in the quietest toll booth in Wales, hiding from a criminal past where nobody would ever look. When he finally gets rumbled, word of his whereabouts gets out and his enemies head west for revenge. Meanwhile, local traffic cop Catrin’s investigation into a simple robbery finds her heading for the booth at exactly the wrong time.
Brendan works solo shifts in the quietest toll booth in Wales, hiding from a criminal past where nobody would ever look. When he finally gets rumbled, word of his whereabouts gets out and his enemies head west to find him for revenge. Meanwhile, local traffic cop Catrin’s investigation into a simple robbery finds her heading over to the booth at exactly the wrong time.
Father Ted meets the old west in this entertaining black comedy set in rural Pembrokeshire – “where English people come to die”, according to graffiti on a road sign into the county. Welsh is spoken instead of English in some scenes, reflective of the border town setting.
This is one quirky film, reminiscent of other British cult classics like the Trainspotting series. Seemingly simple lifestyles end up being far more complex than they appear in a small Welsh town of several hundred residents. The central character of Brendan is so laid back, even when being held at gunpoint, but he still can mastermind all the underground movements in this sleep seaside village. His problems begin when he’s robbed by three women in balaclavas that just might be Pussy Riot, who only take off with minimal change and his ham sandwich. A city slick gangster passes through and recognizes Brendan from the past, declaring he’ll make sure revenge is given. Catrin, the sole copper in the area, knows something is amok but being the only enforcement in the area also means being friends with most everyone, making it difficult to be taken serious when called upon. There are several dark comedic humour moments throughout, and a few failed ones as well. There’s also several interesting characters that appear throughout, but overall it seems to play out with not much happening at all, similar the small town anywhere. Brendan’s character sums it up nicely, describing the book he’s read as, “Nothing much happens. It’s brilliant.”
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.