Twenty One Points
The film is set over a single day in suburban New Zealand and explores what most would consider an ‘unhinged mind’. Though on a more abstract level the story also questions mankind’s relationship with technology. It’s a dialogue driven film between Alan and his best mate Gary, two guys who are extremely familiar with one another and have been friends for a long time. What makes this notion compelling is that Alan’s best friend is not only imaginary, but he is also a skinny green robot.
Though well into his thirties Alan still lives at home with his Mum who appears to be at ease with her son’s psychological ‘illness’. Mum is stoic, compassionate and incredibly tolerant of her son’s eccentricities. Though she is a woman of few words her role in the story is both pivotal and powerful. As we eventually learn, Mum has some of her own eccentricities which will influence events in the story.
As an audience we witness what begins as a typical day in the life of this small, odd but endearing family unit. We follow Alan and Gary through their daily routine and observe the often awkward interactions with their familiar neighborhood community. It is through the eyes of this supporting cast of characters that we catch a glimpse of how the rest of the world perceives the endearing local oddball, Alan. Among these daily routines, the most central to Alan and Gary’s relationship is their highly competitive garage table tennis matches. Fast paced and high intensity, the two friends spend their days furiously battling each other as they have done since childhood, both striving to reach the coveted 21 points needed to win a match. But no matter how close the game gets, Alan has always championed 27 years of imaginary table tennis. That is, until today …