It`s never easy to tell the story of child abuse in a film, especially, when you have to cast a young actor for this type of role. Saying that, what would you say to a boy who goes home to nothing but cruelty, drugs, and alcohol? I would tell him to have enough courage to fight against it. But what if that young boy has his own issues and demons that he must fight? The problem is, in Cast No Shadow, you will see everything you expect- a clever script and an impressive performance by Percy Hynes White, who tries to run as fast as possible from his fear, and his reality, but will never be able to hide from his own shadow…
Cast No Shadow is an interesting and disturbing film about Jude, who loses his mother on the day he was born. His father never recovers from this. He becomes violent, rude, and abusive towards his son, who he secretly blames him for the death of his wife. But that is never referred to in the film, instead, it gives this impression, leaving the audience trying to understand why Angus (Joel Thomas Hynes) hates his son so much, so much that he punishes him for any reason.
Despite exploring child abuse in the film, Jude also appears to be no angel. But what else would you expect from a child who has a father like Angus? The opening scene of Cast No Shadow proves otherwise. When Jude goes with his friend to the beach, they climb on a rock where they start having an argument. This is when Jude pushes his friend down, and takes his time while he thinks about whether he needs to help his friend, or let him die. Even though Jude, in the end, save`s his friend`s life, this does not erase what happens before this and the fact he actually wanted him to die.
What is good about Cast No Shadow is its idea, and the way the story is told. Practically, what it gives to the audience is not the same thing that is given to the actors, which is done intentionally. Saying that, it gives so much room for Percy Hynes White to explore and develop his character through his performance, which was brilliant. Sometimes it makes you stop the motion to replay a certain scene in your head once again, just because you can`t believe that someone at his age can actually understand the inner problems of his character, and reveal this so well through his performance.
Cast No Shadow is brilliantly directed by Christian Sparkes. This film has everything the audience wants to see when they go to see a film; a good story, clever script, and a performance that will hold the audience till the very end.