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Jenna Lee Connors
Tasha Robson, 15, has run away from home! While she rides the waves aboard the large ferry heading from South Shields, England to Scandinavia in search of her unknown father, "The Viking" all is less than calm in the Robson household.
An advertising executive dies and goes to hell... except nothing changes. Well, his daughter is buying drugs with sexual favours from her brother, and the number of cancer-causing products is on the increase. But the notes he writes to himself to prove he hasn't gone insane are getting more disjointed, and he runs off with an ex-prostitute called Honey Barbera. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There's an awful lot going on in "Bliss". I've never seen a film that takes so many directions and so many plot turns and twists while still maintaining a general coherence of purpose. It manages this only because it means what it says. Unlike a lot of similarly abstract films, there's not really an agenda to be weird just because it's possible. The direction and cinematography surprisingly doesn't go for the shocking. Instead, the look of the film is natural. Real lighting, normal colours. So all the fantastical stuff stands out all the more.
Barry Otto plays a man with a lot of personal conflict, and a strange sort of charisma. He's a storyteller above all, and that's what "Bliss" is also most interested in. Creating real people first, then putting them into the plot. Everyone is developed as much as they need to be, fleshed out to surprising degrees. Barry Otto is very good as the storyteller, but the really surprising bit is the performance of Helen Jones.
There's certainly flaws to the film as a whole. It goes too far down certain trails, gives too much importance to some events that don't necessarily lead forward. But the best parts are amongst the best bits of any film of this style, so the missteps can be forgiven. If you like slightly messy, mostly brilliant, mostly forgotten films, "Bliss" is perfect for you.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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