AKA

AKA

A British oddity that finally won theatrical distribution after over a year on the festival circuit, AKA is a rather ordinary story about a young con artist pumped up by a novel visual style, in which the screen is divided into thirds, the entire film playing out across the three mini-screens. This gimmick is, happily, neither confusing or pointless. Your eyes adjust as they would at a three-ring circus. Roy makes it a little easier by usually shooting the same scene from three different angles, so you are rarely following three different actions as you might with typical split-screen use.

The story follows Dean Page (Matthew Leitch, son of Donovan and brother of Ione Skye), a teenage hustler in the 1970s who falls in with a wealthy gay crowd as he pretends to be the son of a socialite. He's an interesting character whose experiences are supposedly based on Roy's own (a stunt which had landed the director in jail). But there are too many elements rehashed from a thousand British dramas: the monster dad who turns out to have molested Dean; the unattainable true love (another hustler who is, of all things, an American cowboy); the cruel upper class crowd who have no sympathy or interest in who he really is.

AKA is of interest only for its unique visual workout; otherwise, it's wholly skippable.