In this episode we are joined by the talented and imaginative Mark Grentell to discuss his latest film The Merger. The township of Bodgy Creek has seen better days: the population is dwindling, jobs are scarce & the litter has built up around the fading Tidy Town sign. The next victim of the town's decline is the cash strapped Aussie Rules footy club.
Barely able to field a team, the club is reeling from news that their clubrooms have been condemned due to asbestos contamination. A left field solution to their woes comes in the form of former football star Troy Carrington [Damian Callinan] Having fallen out with the community over leading protests that led to the closure of the local timber mill, Troy is living a hermit like existence on the towns fringe. However, he is coaxed into coaching after striking up an unlikely friendship with young Neil [Rafferty Grierson] who is struggling with the recent loss of his father. Teaming up with Neil's mum Angie [Kate Mulvany], who is running a nearby refugee support centre, they conspire to recruit refugees to save the team. However, the plan is not well received by Neil's Grandad & Club President Bull Barlow [John Howard], who leads a concerted protest to undermine the refugee's settlement.
For all Troy's good intentions, his initial efforts to turn this rabble into a team seems to be faltering. Aside from the brilliant Sayyid [Fayssal Bazzi] the team are going backwards & some of the players resent the newcomers. Slowly, the team begins to gel & the refugees assimilate into the community. Bull, having formed a friendship with his new neighbour Sayyid through shared grief, jumps on board the bandwagon as the Roosters head towards the finals. However, as a Grand Final win emerges as a possibility, Troy's becomes myopic in his quest for redemption & loses sight of what has already been achieved It takes Angie to reveal that 'The Merger' has already worked.
The StephenRowanShow - Human nature, drive, focus and uncovering the little details that make humans incredible.
#markgrentell #themerger #Australiancinema #glasgowfilmfestival #laughter
@joshMcConville @nickcody @angusmclaren @sahilsaluja
All episodes are available on iTunes Spotify Soundcloud Stitcher and YouTube