F.I.L.M. of the Week (December 3, 2015)

3 12 2015

SightseersI must admit, I was skeptical of delving into some of the deeper cuts in director Ben Wheatley’s filmography after nodding off on two separate occasions during his cult favorite work “Kill List.” (It’s more me than the movie – I was tired both times and got further exhausted by working to understand the thick accents.) But after seeing his 2013 film “Sightseers,” I must say, I feel far more confident that I will like what I see going further back.

Funny enough, I actually saw Wheatley in person while he was promoting the film’s world premiere in Cannes back in 2012. Someone asked a question along the lines of, “What do you do while the movie plays?” Wheatley caustically responded that you could find him in a bar drinking away his nerves. Though why he would doubt that “Sightseers” could play like anything other than gangbuster escapes me. This bonkers road trip comedy is a creative, exciting blast from start to finish; as such, it’s my pick for the “F.I.L.M. of the Week.”

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram star as Carol and Chris, two lovebirds who embark on a road trip across Britain – hauling a caravan behind them, of course. Carol goes against the instructions of her well-meaning mother, who still infantilizes her at the age of 34. She’s reeling from the loss of someone special, too, and remains somewhat unstable. Though she has only dated Chris a few months, Carol seems to think he is that special someone.

That is until, of course, she realizes that he is capable of committing some intensely violent deeds while feeling very little remorse. But that does not seem to bother her. She’s along for the ride, no matter what strange turn or bizarre twist their journey takes next.

There are moments along the way when it feels like “Sightseers” will start to fall in line with some other similar movie. Yet the longer it goes on, the less it resembles something like “Bonnie and Clyde” or “Thelma and Louise.” Wheatley, working with a script by his two lead actors, manages to make a film that is wholeheartedly unique. It vibrates at such an odd comedic wavelength, mostly black but also silly and solemn in places.

Perhaps most fascinatingly, Wheatley makes sure that murder never becomes something commonplace. He presents each killing in a completely different manner, shocking us all the new and making us really think about what we are digesting. This is quite a sight to see, indeed, and I look forward to being entertained and challenged all the more by what Wheatley has to offer after “High-Rise.”



2 responses

7 12 2015
Paragraph Film Reviews

Loved this film when I caught it in the cinema, but there were plenty of walkouts as it was marketed as more or a comedy than black comedy. There’s something magical about Wheatley that manages to take something as mundane as caravaning, and getting some thrills and shocks out of it.

Must re-watch this soon!

7 12 2015

Hate when films are mismarketed. I just took a chance on this film knowing nothing about it, so maybe that explains part of my euphoria. Good to hear from someone like yourself who can provide some context!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: