Toga: A Return

Written by Luke Barnes


A videographer, played by Shaun Rose, begins scouting new locations for a filmmaker only to be brought back to his home town, going on an emotional journey in process.

I will open this review by saying that I haven’t seen Upstate Story which serves, I am lead to believe, as a part one of sorts to this story. As such I may not fully comprehend the character journey between films and my review can be seen as solely reflective of this film and not relating to the wider series or quasi saga.

I found this film to be quite effecting, something about the idea of home towns can and often do stir up both a sense of nostalgia but also haunting and as such returning to them after a long absence can be a very mixed experience. I found that this film really captured the emotional nuance of that, and had the home town itself almost function as a narrative act centre piece.

Additionally, I found the performance by Rose himself was simply captivating, throughout the run of the film I couldn’t look away in many senses I was transfixed by his life and journey, not necessarily because they were in any way fantastical but rather because they were so relatable and human. The writing of this film is truly magnificent.

Overall, very much an enriching watch.



The emotional nuance

The writing

Rose’s fantastic performance

The pacing


I felt like I was missing something, but likely that is because I jumped in at the sequel

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