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:: Cedar Boys

Cedar Boys is a poignant story of three young Lebanese Australian men, Tarek, Nabil and Sam, who live in Sydney's Western Suburbs. The main protagonist, Tarek (Les Chantery), longs to break the stereotype of his heritage. He is a decent young man, just wanting to make a better life for himself and those he cares about. Sick of his life as a panel beater at the local auto shop, and desperately wishing for more than his current lot in life,

Tarek has ambition but no money to back it. So when Nabil comes to him with a plan that could help him gain enough money to make all this possible, he jumps at the opportunity; although it means stealing (then dealing) drugs. Eventually, their crime catches up with them, and Tarek's good intentions end in disaster. Soon they find themselves over their heads in an unfamiliar world of deadly dealings, caught up in something they cannot control nor escape.

Cedar Boys is one of those movies where you can just tell things are going to go wrong… you're waiting for Tarek and his friends to get caught, and dreading how it will all end. It's this sense of dread that keeps the movie interesting.

There is some superb acting , notably from Les Chantery. He has relatively few credits under his belt, but hopefully this movie will see him make a bigger name for himself in Australian cinema. The film is well cast and the characters are believable. In possibly the most unexpected casting ever, there is top New Zealand actor Martin Henderson as one of the drug dealers Tarek and Nabil steal from. He is probably the most recognisable of the cast, yet he plays a relatively minor role. Still, his menacing portrayal leaves a lasting impression.

Although the story is nothing particularly new, the film makes you genuinely care what happens to its characters, particularly Tarek. You desperately want him to overcome the odds. Overall, Cedar Boys is a worthy film, being a tough-as-nails crime story.

DVD Extras

Behind the Scenes featurette
The Making of Cedar Boys
Several Webisodes ranging from Auditions to location scouting
Q&A with the cast and crew