When I first watched “The Waterhole,” I didn’t care much for the characters. But then I realized I was looking at these characters with my “Mom” cap on. I had broken my most sacred rule, “Always watch a movie with an open mind.”
So, the next night, I sat down and watched the movie again. Correctly, this time, with an open mind to allow the film to tell its tale.
This time, I realized, this is a really good tale. “The Waterhole” follows three friends who spend all their spare time down at the bar during their college years. You follow the different paths they branch off onto and what seems like a minor decision turns out to have a major outcome.
Writer Nathan Cole has put together a wonderful script that lets you look deep inside the characters. And director Ely Mennin perfectly captures the mood of the film in shots that often don’t need dialogue to get the point across. The movie is mostly spoken dialogue with a couple of “action” scenes. I would normally be a little bored by this much talking without action in a film, but I listened to what they had to say and I could feel their indecision.
Additionally, the cast is well chosen. The characters are real; they are funny at times, jerks at others. They are flawed, but you will find yourself rooting for them.
I knew these characters. When I knew them, they looked different, had different names, but the mannerisms were there. The problems were there, the decisions that have to make were there. You can relate to their trial and fears and to the hesitation to take the step into adulthood and their own destinies.
Whether you want to call their final decisions a small step forward or a leap of faith, “The Waterhole” is a wonderful movie of that final journey from adolescence to making your way to adults.
Out now on DVD, “The Waterhole” is a worthy addition to your movie collection.
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