Thursday, 15 April 2010
REVIEW: Cemetery Junction
Before I get into what will be a mostly positive review of Cemetery Junction, I do want to clear my throat of an irritation. And reflect on a sentence that ended up a description of the physical act of coughing rather then the smooth segway I had envisioned. But onward and upward. Its a common trend of films such as this, in which the creatives, a.k.a our heroes/storytellers, view the pragmatic man with a disdain that not even serial killers get. Always soulless, callous monsters in expensive suits convinced of their superiority living out their joyless existence obliviously. There's a scene in Cemetery Junction in which Ralph Fiennes, playing one of these douches, looks at an artwork and can only comment on its monetary value. What a twat, right? But this irks me, because don't the creative types view their own world ideology with the same sense of righteousness? At least the average suit doesn't think that what they have to say needs to be heard by the entire fucking world. Who are the real egotists here? Put it this way, if both archetypes had nothing but a Tesco shopping cart to call their home, only the creatives would be still convinced of their superiority.
Having said that, Cemetery Junction is a film I enjoyed, and definitely my favorite thing to come out of the mind of Ricky Gervais (and Stephen Merchant). Which brings me to the inevitable admittance that I don't believe The Office to be the best thing to come out of the world since the Paleolithic age. This pretty much makes me a pariah, but if you're going to be an outcast for something, this is pretty much up there with your country and your family. The film had a real earnestness to it, which is always nice to see. I Genuinely believe that Gervais believes the Philosophies he spouts and even if I didn't agree with all of it, that's such a rare thing in movies at the moment it must be commended. Similarly it's heartfeltisms also ring true, spoken from an honest place, and I guess its nice to see such purebred romanticism with no hint of compensatory cynicism.
Having said that, I think Gervais and Merchant do ring the ' this provincial town will drag you down' bell a little hard, presenting the small town as an existential hell for the young mind a little too obviously. I could have done without the kid with the awesome bone structure (Tom Hughes) repeatedly saying that he was leaving, but you know, never leaving. DRAMATIC IRONY GUYS. I thought that character in general was a bit empty to be honest, and I was having trouble accepting his anarchic don't give a shit attitude when he clearly gets up at 4 A.M to spend an hour giving his hairstyle that ' I just got up' look. I don't know If it was intentional or not but the character felt a little disingenuous to me. I did however like Christian Cooke in the lead and thought that he and lead girl Felicity Jones were a charming lead couple, and both Matthew Goode and Ralph Fiennes played their demonized salesmen very well. Particularly Goode.
Having said that, this was a confident, visually impressive directorial debut for the famed comedy duo, and if they continue to press this particular medium of media I shall remain interested. But Cemetery Junction is not quite there, and for all its sweetness it's a little too patronizing to be a great piece of work.
I don't like The Office.