Boy Swallows Universe Review

Boy Swallows Universe Review

This week Netflix unveils its next Australian Original in the form of Boy Swallows Universe.

It’s Brisbane in the 1980s and Eli Bell (Felix Cameron) lives with his mother, recovering addict Frankie (Phoebe Tonkin), mute brother Gus (Lee Tiger Halley), and stepfather Lyle (Travis Fimmell), whose family live on the brink of poverty. Eli has a convicted murder for a babysitter in Slim Halliday (Bryan Brown), and a pen pal who’s in prison (Adam Briggs).

Eli’s alcoholic father Robert (Simon Baker) is absent. But when Lyle returns to drug dealing and Frankie winds up in jail, he is forced to step up and be a little more present. Soon,

Through the 7-episode series, Eli seeks justice for his family as he chases his dream of journalism and tries to improve his mum’s life.  

Adapted from Trent Dalton’s semi-autobiographical novel, fans won’t be disappointed with all the key moments touched upon throughout the series at the hands of writer John Collee.

The series does not shy away from the darker elements of the book, such as drug addiction and violence, but balances these out with a dash of humour.

A top-notch cast that also includes Deborah Mailman, Anthony LaPaglia, Ben O’Toole, Toby Schmitz, and Sophie Wilde, making this a must-see series. Among them are Felix Cameron, and later Zac Burgess, who paired with Tiger Lee Halley, bring Eli and Gus’ stories to life.

Part coming-of-age part adventure, Boy Swallows Universe is a faithful adaptation of a much-loved novel that sets the bar high for Australian drama in 2024.

5 Stars

Boy Swallows Universe drops on Netflix on Thursday, 11 January.


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