Set against the picturesque backdrop of a small Columbian Caribbean island, Bad Lucky Goat’s quirky and earnest story inspires a true sense of nostalgia (not in that cheap, lazy way that slick, new versions of old cartoons and comic books do) that takes the viewer right back to those days when staying off your parents’ radar was the biggest problem in your life.
Synopsis: “After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s truck, two incompatible siblings in their teenage years, embark on a journey of reconciliation. Corn and Rita must find a way to repair the truck in time to pick up the tourists that will be staying at their family’s hotel. As they struggle to find the means necessary to conceal the accident, the siblings will visit a butcher, rastafari drum makers, a pawn shop and even a witch doctor, in a 24-hour adventure around Port Paradise.”
First and foremost, the movie is gorgeous. Every lush grove and winding, sea-side road is captured with such totality and care that it allows the viewer to slip into the singularly off-beat atmosphere with relative ease. Through Corn and Rita’s scrambling search for the funds needed to conceal the damage to their parents’ truck the audience is introduced to the larger-than-life characters that inhabit it Port Paradise. Similar to classic films like Stand By Me, the way director Samir Oliveros presents these characters (and hurdles for Corn and Rita to overcome) elevates the seemingly small and inconsequential problems of youth into a more epic journey (“epic” in the more traditional sense, as in “an epic saga,” not “whoa man, that party was epic!”).
Their childlike innocence amplifies these small roadblocks in a way that reminds the audience what it was like to be so young and live in a world so small that you can’t see past getting grounded as the most devastating thing that could happen to you. That is true nostalgia – not just capturing a feeling, but actually taking you back to that awe-inspiring sense of childhood wonder where everything still feels fresh and new. It’d be easy to litter a story with artifacts from a bygone era (old action figures or popular songs from a certain decade) but that lacks the timeless universality of capturing the raw, adventuring spirit of childhood – something Bad Lucky Goat does exceedingly well without the gimmick of pop culture.
Along with that adventuresome nature, Bad Lucky Goat invokes the most subtle touches of magical realism and an eccentric style that feels 100% believable through the eyes of two bickering children. The film is similarly paced to accentuate the dreamlike quality of the day’s events. Long, un-edited shots following the children on a scooter down a winding road adds to the epic sense of the journey, creating more distance where there is probably a short, simple trip. This adds to the overall gestalt of the film’s attempt to truly put the viewer in Corn and Rita’s youthful shoes. When you’re a child, distance and time are much more relative than when you’re an adult – like how those last few minutes before school’s out feel like an eternity.
There’s also a familiarity to the love/hate relationship that Corn and Rita share as siblings. Rita, as the older sister doesn’t have her head in the clouds like Corn and become easily frustrated with his immaturity. Corn is annoyed with Rita’s materialism and loves to get under her skin. These two warring personality types bounce off each other in a chaotic (and highly entertaining) fashion that makes the jam they’re in even more hectic and of course makes for an uplifting reconciliation between the two as they are forced to work together to scrounge up the money to fix the damaged truck.
Bad Lucky Goat is an exceedingly fun, rare gem that envelopes the warmth and wonder of childhood in a vividly endearing setting. It’s available now on iTunes/Amazon/Vudu so check it out if you’re in the mood for a fun, easy-going adventure. And hit us up on Twitter @Official_FAN with your thoughts on the film.