Food Related Death
As soon as I flicked channels tonight, and saw the opening title sequence, I knew I was watching an Australian film. It wasn't that I recognised names or any specifics, but the choice of song, and the animation of the credits proclaimed itself an Aussie film. Which is very strange. The only other film that I can think of that has a similar energy at the start is Garage Days, and it's not even remotely close to He Died With A Falafel In His Hand. Nor is there a style they stick to. The Dish, The Castle, and Moulin Rouge have nothing similar.
Nonetheless I still knew.
I haven't read the book, nor had I seen the film before, so I decided to stick with it for a while.
I am going through a period of strangely identifying with some films or characters more than I ever have before. Not to the point of ever saying "that's me!" (I'd be really wigged out by that), but clearly relating to a thought, issue, or situation with total clarity. Zack Braff's Garden State had a profound impact on me when I saw it in Adelaide (I'll write about that movie one day), and I had a couple of minor moments during Falafel tonight.
Noah Taylor's Danny was laconic and outwardly emotionless, yet still able to portray an amazing amount of emotion that he proved that working on two Tomb Raider films hadn't killed his acting ability. Danny is living his life as a ghost, not truly being a part of anything. His friends/roommates are all types of destructive personalities and all so self absorbed (aren't we all) that he rarely has an opportunity to say anything.
The cast are all normal looking, flawed people. Noah is certainly not the average leading man material, making him more acceptable as just some guy. Danny's best friend/girlfriend, Sam has some serious issues, appearing to be the staunch intellectual, non-sexual roommate, who goes through some self-discovery, image change, and attempted suicide. Who hasn't spent slabs of their life trying different ways of living, scary image styles and contemplated life's meaning?
The common thread with all of the characters is their lack of direction. Everyone is still tuned into the test pattern. Life is all fuzz and white noise. I am waiting for my autotune to find my station.
I still have the theme song 'California Dreaming' as my brainworm. Danny's guitar accompanied renditions of this are brilliantly intermingled with the dialogue of current housemates. Whoever thought the length of spaghetti or where the pineapple tin lives could be so important to people.
Even the characters who were destined to be hated managed to be endearing in some way. Sophie Lee's neurotic, bulimic, anal, self-possessed Nina reminded me of a few people I've met and also reminded me that I still should care more about other's problems. No matter how annoying, horrible, rude, or bossy they may be. I couldn't help but laugh when it was revealed that Nina was an actor.
Danny's heroin addicted, and ultimately doomed, roommate Flip is someone I wound up admiring. Not for the drugs, addiction or any of the bad things, but how simple some of his habits were. Like moonbaking.
I've not done this before, but I feel so inclined. Here are two of my favourite lines:
"We're the police. Your civil liberties are about to be violated"My only gripe is I wish Danny had called his Mum at the end of the film.
Dan: "Welcome to hell"
Sam: "Well, at least it's warm" The range of nationalities Danny
An interesting, confronting and entertaining Australian film which has a list of apologies in the end credits.