Sunday 27 October 2013

Review: Small Apartments

World of Blackout Catch-up Review

Small Apartments Poster

Small Apartments
Cert: 15 / 92 mins / Dir. Jonas Åkerlund

A stylistic rollercoaster, which suffers from one instance of frankly dreadful casting. The problem is that when audiences in the UK see Matt Lucas with no trousers on and a comedy wig, it's more-often-than-not in the context of sketch comedy, where he'll deadpanningly play a ridiculous character with a look of bemusement on his face. That's also pretty much what he's doing in this film, but it's not what's required. Many of his scenes are performed alone, and he has no comedic foil to bounce off and the whole thing falls a bit flat. That said, I've got no idea who would play the part any better, so maybe it's the part itself?

Small Apartments is the Instagram of dark, quirky comedy; dreamlike one moment, wisecracking the next, slapstick the one after that followed by introspective pathos. It makes Seven Psychopaths look like Pulp Fiction, yet sadly it doesn't even have the character of the former, let alone the hipster attitude of the latter.

The worrying thing is that all the other characters seem to have been relatively well, but in roles that are defined by an outfit (and/or wig) with a facial expression. There's enough surreal action to maybe suggest that the entire episode is taking place inside one of the characters' minds (see also: Super), but since the closing scenes dwell more on the story-resolution of a previously incidental character, it seems unlikely, somehow.

I'd like to say that at least Small Apartments tries hard, but for about half of the runtime I just don't think that's the case. I many ways it's a noble failure, but a failure nonetheless.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
The trailer is far more coherent than the actual film.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not really, no.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I have no idea, but I do hope so.

Buy, pay to rent, or wait until it's on for free?
If anything, free.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not that I heard.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Why do I bother?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a 'catch-up' review. I watched this film at home, not at the cinema. I saw the trailer for this at the cinema, and I would have seen the film there too, but they didn't/couldn't show it. So now iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster get to reap the rewards of my local's advance-advertising, and I'm sure they're delighted. Now you may say "oh come on, they can't show everything down there", and that would be a valid point if they didn't do things like running Taken 2 for six weeks. Was it that successful? No, I don't think so. Twilight? Batman? Les Mes? Sure, go for it; if they're pulling the punters in then keep making that money. But Taken 2? I ask you. Anyway, this is essentially a DVD review, but still of a new(ish) film. There. I'm glad that's sorted.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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