Review: Solo

Next week is the premiere of a new Australian film, Solo. It's always good to see a new Australian film, but this one doesn't seem to be saying anything new. Here's my review (fresh from the media screening!):

Perhaps the greatest fear of any actor is to be typecast. Stuck always playing the same style of characters in the same thespian groove can be a tough problem to overcome. Typecast as a bad guy, and you're a lifelong anti-hero, the one audiences love to hate. Typecast as a good guy, though, and audiences will struggle to buy your dark side. This is the problem afflicting Colin Friels. Friels is a legend of screens big and small, but seems to revel in playing quiet, likable everymen. In Solo, though, his character Jack Barrett is a veteran gangster, moving in a world of drugs, violence and sleaze, who decides he's dumped one too many dead bodies in a river. The problem is not so much believing that Friels’ character wants to leave the Underworld: the problem is believing that he's the kind of guy who would get caught up in it in the first place.">Perhaps the greatest fear of any actor is to be typecast. Stuck always playing the same style of characters in the same thespian groove can be a tough problem to overcome. Typecast as a bad guy, and you're a lifelong anti-hero, the one audiences love to hate. Typecast as a good guy, though, and audiences will struggle to buy your dark side. This is the problem afflicting Colin Friels. Friels is a legend of screens big and small, but seems to revel in playing quiet, likable everymen. In Solo, though, his character Jack Barrett is a veteran gangster, moving in a world of drugs, violence and sleaze, who decides he's dumped one too many dead bodies in a river. The problem is not so much believing that Friels’ character wants to leave the Underworld: the problem is believing that he's the kind of guy who would get caught up in it in the first place.

Solo marks the directorial debut of Morgan O'Neill, who also wrote the screenplay. O'Neill shows a deft confidence that defies his relative inexperience. The story contains a strong narrative that weaves together several stories with style and subtlety. The cinematography is garish without being overstated, beautifully capturing the seediness of the crime underworld it seeks to depict. Rather than focusing on the neon façade of Kings Cross and the smooth perfection of young bodies, director of photography Hugh Miller shows every gutter, every wrinkle and every bruise with gritty honesty.

Read the rest at The Program.

Comments

Mothy said…
Editing, Ari, editing. We got that paragraph twice.

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