Ben Oliver

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The Toll

I did something terrible and someone’s going to have to pay for it.
08 November 2021

A brooding toll booth operator in rural Wales (Michael Smiley) seeks to keep his dark history a secret from the locals, and notably a bored police officer (Annes Elwy).

It’s probably not unfair to call this a Welsh Fargo. This crime thriller set in a place that sees no crime borrows heavily from Westerns and Hitchcock much like the Coens did, although perhaps The Toll isn’t quite as memorable.

The plot seems to swerve from touching to intriguing to tedious at various points, and it doesn’t quite come over as I suspect was intended. It’s also hard to follow, and not in a good way.

It’s still the best low budget Welsh black comedy I’ve seen in a while, and at 80 minutes is well worth your time. The final third pulls it all together quite nicely and surprisingly sticks the landing.

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