Friday, March 17, 2017
GIRL ASLEEP (2016)
Directed By: Rosemary Myers
Written By: Matthew Whittet (Based on his Stage Play)
Cinematography By: Andrew Commis
Editor: Karryn de Cinque
Cast: Bethany Whitmore, Harrison Feldman, Amber McMahon, Matthew Whittet, Eamon Farren, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Danielle Catanzariti, Pia Moutakis, Clara Moutakis
The world is closing in on Greta Driscoll. On the cusp of turning fifteen she can't bear to leave her childhood, it contains all the things that give her comfort in this incomprehensible new world. She floats in a bubble of loser with her only friend Elliott, until her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and she's flung into a parallel place; a world that's weirdly erotic, a little bit violent and thoroughly ludicrous - only there can she find herself. Based on the critically acclaimed production by Windmill Theatre, The film is a journey into the absurd, scary and beautiful heart of the teenage mind.
The film feels like a dream which at least a third of the film appears as a Out and out fantasy that makes no sense except to the main character and seems to be a parable about her dilemma. It feels more like the work of a singular imagination that makes sense to only a few.
Luckily the film works off of offbeat charm and style. As well as being absurd with details such as the date of her birthday being February 31st, The twins that constantly are the henchwomen of the main characters. Album cover art coming alive an becoming a full character and just about the entire third act that becomes a weird rural fantasy.
While the film definitely has a vision and most of the film could usually be explained away as more of a vivid exaggeration that comes off surreal of how it feels to be growing from a child into a teenager. Where you still have that innocence but the real world starts to beckon harder and harder putting pressure on you. Though either way the characters would still be considered quirky from any other view.
The film actually started out as a stage play. Which helps explain the limited locations and it seems the need to get the most out of them. Which also adds a claustrophobic feel and intensity in some scenes. It's what helps make the film feel vivid and livens up the film to a degree. When there isn't necessarily that much action going on.
Like the film the characters come off as stylish by being a bit off style yet quirky. As they double down on their beliefs and lifestyle. The film seems at time off center but knows where it is going even if the audience doesn't. So that it is a journey for us. So you have to depend on the film to guide you. Yet you always feels safe though easily distracted and discombobulated.
It can easily be seen as a film about puberty. Where you are a threat to some and you struggle to find where you belong who is your group, pack as well as getting attention you are not used to and it feeling like an onslaught like you are being hunted. Not sure who you can trust as some turn on you that easily or are using you to a degree. Where the wrong move seems like it could be your peril. So that it almost paralyzed you or makes you very fragile.
The film can sometimes feel moody as it stays strange, but still manages to stay sweet and never is boring.
The film Actually feels like an Australian NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. Only from a girls point of view you can see the flourishes of a Wes Anderson film in the design. It's easy to compare as it seems nostalgic but of it's own imagination. Though it's cinematic style seems simple but also expressive and deadpan that at times seems to try too hard but after awhile you get used to it as it becomes too common.
It's not one of the first or only film to be taken from a girl's point of view when it deals with a conning of age story. Though it is rare that we get to see a story of so much awkwardness. So much so that the third act is more of a fantasy story.
The film does deal with sex but it doesn't make it as heavy an issue or something that permeates almost every scene and decision that the character makes. Which is a welcome change. Even if it doesn't all make sense at first.
The film even has continuing action in the background to keep you your eyes busy and a full experience that keeps you on your toes. That makes everything feel amplified.