Paying the toll leads to action and humour

Annes Elwy and Michael Smiley in The Toll (Supplied)

The Toll, an action thriller with comic touches set in Wales, is about a lone tollbooth operator with a shady past. Source: Jesuit Media.

Pembrokeshire has lots of open fields, wonderful vistas of the sea, cliffs and sand. But the graffiti on the “Welcome to Pembrokeshire” sign says, “the English come here to die”.

In fact, some English characters do come, and they do die. But, in a spirit of equality, so do many of the Welsh characters.

The toll of the title is a small remote cabin on the road down to the port with a ferry to Ireland. It costs 40p for the tollkeeper to press his button and let you through. Actually, when a group of masked triplets from the town attempt to hold up the booth, toll operator Brendan (Michael Smiley) he has only £1.20 to give them.

Brendan has operated the tollbooth for 29 years. He is reserved and taciturn with a dark past that comes back to haunt him at the toll. The other main character is police officer Catrin (Annes Elwy), who runs this town’s force almost single-handedly.

Writer Matt Redd is from Pembrokeshire so knows his people and locations. But he has a creative tongue-in-cheek way of introducing characters, a suave gentleman who turns out to be a gangster, two rather idiotic criminals, the locals, a young smarmy conscienceless gangster on call to do any odd jobs and a grisly old truck driver involved in smuggling.

At one stage Brendan says the chronology is hard to remember as he recounts the events of the day to the young policewoman. There are various twists, betrayals, some gruesome vendettas and a final shootout. The title could have referred in fact to the final body count!

Review by Fr Peter Malone MSC, Jesuit Media.

The Toll: Starring Michael Smiley, Annes Elwy, Iwan Rheon, Paul Kaye, Gary Beadle, Steve Oram, Gwyneth Keyworth, Dewi Morris, Julian Glover. Directed by Ryan Edward Hooper. 83 minutes. Rated MA (Strong violence and coarse language).


The Toll (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)

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