Sunday, 29 November 2009

REVIEW: Bunny and The Bull

Yes! After years of close calls, dashed hopes and near misses, it finally happened. I saw a film at the cinema entirely in my own screen. Yes, there was not a single person to be found but me at the 11:00 screening of Bunny and the Bull, and while this may speak volumes as far as this film's money making potential goes, it was nonetheless beyond awesome to me. A private screening by default. Like the screensaver icon that never seems to hit the corner, I have been perilously close to this before. There's been four people in a screening; there's been three people in a screening. I was beginning to think it was impossible dream, but I finally got my rewards for attending films at ridiculously uncommercial hours.

Of course this has fuck all to do with the film in question, so allow me to get to that now. The cinematic debut of long time director of The Mighty Boosh, a british sitcom that I have little time for. And as a consequence of that I was expecting to be completely alienated by this film, but I was pleasantly suprised. Its far from perfect, but there's enough creativity, visual style and OK to good comedy to make me think that King could do this for a living. The main hook of the film will no doubt be the DIY visuals, a la Science of Sleep, in which snow is made of newspaper and sets are made of cardboard. And for the most part it works, giving the movies heightened reality a co-operating backdrop. It is filmed with an eagerness and love that one would expect from a labor of love such as this and it is of no doubt this movies calling card. Slightly less effective however is the slightly run of the mill buddy road trip aspect, which while occassionally funny and subvertive, hits too many of the usual cues.

Similarly Edward Hogg struggles in the lead, landing the awkwardness but hasn't the presence to make the character worth paying attention to. Its a potentially interesting arc, but Hogg isnt good enough to draw us in. Simon Farnaby fares better as his best friend, but his character is quite stock for this kind of thing, and while he gets the best lines ( " Don't go into another rant about the decline of the semi-colon please") there's certainly an element of having seen it before. Only Farnaby's performance gives the character any pop. Veronica Echegui takes the free-spirited spanish stereotype and does some suprisingly good comedy work, even if the movie has little interest in the character. As much as they get on my nerves on the Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt's cameos are probably the best thing in this movie acting wise. But its rare to see a British film with this kind of visual creativity and that combined with a script that is suprisingly adept, its the kind of film you wish the British Film Industry would make more often. Even if its not exactly to my taste, its a film that has a reason to exist artistically as well as commercially, and thats hardly something to sneer at.

An interesting little movie, not so much for what happens in it, but for its sense of enthusiasm and visual energy.

Rating: 7/10

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