This doesn’t happen that often for us, but now and then we get asked to do reviews for smaller films that don’t have billion dollar budgets. They’re typically passion projects that the creators hold quite dearly to their hearts. A Dozen Summers is no exception, as it was the work of writer/director/actor/everything Kenton Hall; who we had the pleasure interviewing not long ago.
A Dozen Summers is a comedy aimed at kids and has a cast primarily made up of of 12 year olds. The story is initially presented as a nature programme, with the tremendous voice talent of Colin Baker (former Doctor Who), however, the story is ‘hijacked’ by the two actual leads, Maisey and Daisy. The story then delves into the everyday lives of two 12-year-olds trying to get by. We follow them through their school life and private life, dealing with both in a humourous manner. The two leads spend their time split between school, with friends out of school, and the respective homes of both their mother and father.
What needs to be remembered before watching this film is that this isn’t a film aimed at everyone. It works best toward its target audience, 12 year-olds and those still at school. With great insight into the everyday lives of children who are still at secondary school, this film provides a film for kids and, almost, by kids. I say ‘almost’ as it is clear that writer/director Kenton Hall listened to his young cast for clues to get better understanding of how to make a film about 12-year-olds by 12-year-olds.
This film does attempt to delve deeper into the modern lifestyles of young teens as it explores the complications of having parents that have been separated. Although this subject has been explored countless times before, in A Dozen Summers they manage to show a unique stance of the situation. Avoiding showing how it can be damaging or even if it’s beneficial, A Dozen Summers shows the kids perspective of accepted apathy; a reflection of how this is now consider the norm. They’re totally fine with having split parents and don’t see it as a big issue, they feature minor issues of having separated parents in ‘their’ film and show the audience that this is what life is now; this is the norm. There are also some funny scenes featuring Kenton Hall, who plays the father, and Sanjiv Hayre, who plays a hippy tree lover, A Dozen Summers keeps your attention throughout. The biggest takeaway from this film is the care and dedication that was put into it.
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