Sunday, 17 May 2009

Miller movie review

I had the distinct honour of attending the global premiere of Miller, a local 30 minute production, the brainchild of Darrell Hawkins and David Farr. The 30-strong, partisan crowd laughed heartily at every raised eyebrow, “I’m on the toilet” joke and the now mandatory “boiiing” special effect.
The four band members, Darrell, David, Daniel Mu and Matthew Laing, talk to camera in documentary style about their respect for each other and their band’s unity. The documentary is intercut with vision of petty rivalries and musical egos. This leads to Darrell’s excited announcement that he has a date, his first.
The date, as expected, goes terribly. The amour does not appreciate conversation starters on Keynesian economics it would seem. His friends sit at a table nearby and offer encouragement. In truth, more could have been done from a ‘joke’ perspective during this middle period.
The movie highpoint for me was the Jesus Christ Superstar inspired song finale which had unlucky-in-love Darrell pleading with his friends for understanding. This played to the quartet’s strengths with their mischievous sense of humour, musical abilities and quick word plays. It was a pity therefore that the rest of the film didn’t offer more along this line.
Some of the story threads didn’t develop, such as Daniel’s ongoing encounters with a pair of Triad (is that a contradiction?) gang members but most likely a victim of originally pitching a feature length story line and cutting back to its current length. The initial scene of escaping from the toilet block via a shoulder bag was a good gag as was the car parking-to the rescue sequence. The music choice during this scene was a good one.
The thread of the story is one of mateship and looking out for one another. We should all be so lucky to have a group of friends to stand by us.
The production values were quite acceptable given the resources available to the crew. The editing enabled the story to develop in a linear fashion and the dialogue readily understood. Overall a good first effort with much to look forward to from these very funny guys.

The film has now been posted to YouTube

1 comment:

Darrell said...

Thanks for the review. Yes, the finale 'Pizza with no Base' is very much inspired by 'Gethsemane' - and well picked up that the Triad scene went nowhere- it was part of a bigger story that never got filmed, but we felt that the gags were too good to leave out of the film, no matter how little sense it would make overall.

I like to think retrospectively that the plot of the film is that the very dysfunctional-ness of the members that threatened to pry the band apart was the very force that helped them to finally unite to write a coherent song ie the group slander of Darrell.