|Index||10 reviews in total|
I must say that coming out of the screening for Dangerous Parking is
one of the rare occasions where I have genuinely been 'moved' by a
film, so I think that coming out saying "I really enjoyed it....It was
a great movie....What a great performance etc etc" now seem like stock
and clichéd responses to a film that deserves so much more.
I find it hard for anybody who has lived, loved and lost, not to be profoundly moved and affected by Dangerous Parking. It is one of the most honest, real, raw and beautiful films that I have ever seen about the human condition, warts and all. Peter Howitt gave a performance that was, to most Oscar nominated male leads, what junior school nativities are to RSC performances. He gave a blistering, acerbic, and - in more ways than the literal - naked, performance. It demands to be noticed and acclaimed.
What an unexpected Gem, British film making minus Danny Dyer minus Guy
Ritchie minus Colin Firth = ' Excellent '
Don't switch off after the
first 5 minutes as this could be our typical British flop. Narration,,
freeze frame ,, loser introspective rewind, loads of swearing,
attitude, over use of flashback etc
However the film draws you in . And succeeds through the bombastic central performance from its lead Peter Howit through the effective use of narration and non chronological story telling, all too often exploited in modern cinema
On reflection this is a modern day shakespearean tragedy .. A triumph in modern cinema which succeeds in making you laugh whilst conveying a very sad and poignant message of one mans search for redemption
With a raw honesty served on a plate of hilarious self destructive loathing the narrator introduces his world of drug fuelled decadence with at times hilarious results, before his admission to rehab in an effort to resurrect his life . The latter part of the film turns decidedly dark and is at times difficult viewing so be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster..
Try and imagine Ivan's XTC meets Trainspotting meets Witnail and I ? I !
A MUST SEE
The opening five minutes or so of this film sit so uneasily with the
rest of it that I'm inclined to wonder if they were a veiled satire of
the state of most modern British cinema with it's desperate eagerness
to please and self conscious coolness. Lets just say these initial
scenes almost made me switch off. I'm glad I didn't.
What follows is a glorious mess of a film. A tumble of ideas and emotion mixed up and thrown at the screen. 'Dangerous Parking' is worthy to be included with Nic Roeg's most frustrating, delirious and brilliant output. It's rare to see a film that doesn't compromise or treat it's audience like a tested demographic. This film deserves to be seen and felt by people who love cinema. Watching Peter Howitt's performance is like watching a drowning man. Uncomfortable but compelling.
In some ways Peter Howitt's work of (undiluted) genius is a counterpart to Truffaut's "La Nuit Américaine", although it's kind of an updated version. Following the other reviewer's suggestion I would say it's the "Trainspotting" version of it. If there ever was a portrait of a filmmaker on film, this is it. This film should be required watching for everybody who loves films and who wants to know how it is to make one. And yet it's so much more. It's a huge portion of life squeezed into 110 minutes of yours. It's amazing, it's f.....g brilliant (as a German I'm hesitant to use swearwords, but hey) it's a ride-of-a-lifetime it's so much more than in my humble words I would ever be able to describe. I watched it in Tokyo on the film festival and one hour after I left the screening I started to cry, in the middle of a crowded street. Or no, I laughed and cried at the same time. Actually I thought they might arrest me, but nothing happened. Maybe they felt pity for me, or thought people do that in Europe - but what they didn't notice was, it was a GLORIOUS crying, because I realized, in an instant, how wonderful it is to be alive. What a film.
Having been recommended this book by friend I did the usual and tracked
down the movie version. Good move on my part, and thanks to my friend.
'Dangerous Parking' tells the story of a man named, Noah Arkwright, a (fictitious) successful independent film director, who after a long drug fueled orgy of a life, decides to trade it all in for rehab, sobriety, and the stability of a nuclear family. Yet his struggles to maintain his power over addiction become only secondary to a much more grave struggle, an illness that his addictions to drugs and alcohol have already put on him before he could sober up.
The entire film is narrated by Arkwright, sometimes in the first person, yet in many scenes he narrates as if he's an outsider watching himself act out a scene in a movie. The moments where he separates his narrative voice from his character in the film are positively brilliant and usually serve to bring humor to the situation quite effectively.
While the movie is mostly light on drama and heavy on comedy for the first three-quarters of the film, the last quarter of the film takes a decidedly darker tone, a tone which I didn't anticipate considering the majority of the film before that point had been comedic and humorous. This movie is both comedy and drama, emphasis on comedy (specifically dark comedy and British humor), with a dramatic conclusion to top everything all off.
The story structure is chronologically broken, consisting of several out of sequence scenes, often intertwined with flashbacks of Arkwright's life. It's quite simple and easy to follow the plot because Arkwright's narration sets up each scene rather well for the viewer but his narrations don't reveal everything leaving some rather fantastic surprises for the viewer to discover on his or her own.
The acting is fantastic, really, really amazing. Peter Howitt, who assumes the role of the protagonist (in addition to writing and directing the film) is stunningly powerful in this role. This performance is truly an achievement in acting, and if Howitt won awards for his work in this film I would be very deserved. Howitt's performance can only be so well appreciated due to him being surrounded by a great cast with equally well done performances. Saffron Burrows and Sean Pertwee put in top performances as well which only strengthen the absolutely flawless acting accomplished by Howitt.
If you are in the mood for a drama but don't want a heavy or overly serious drama there is no better film than 'Dangerous Parking' to watch. If you are in the mood purely for laughs I would recommend on holding off on watching this film as there are many moments where laughing is anything but appropriate. This is one of the best combination of comedy in drama in a film I have experienced in quite some time, truly refreshing, and any avid film viewing individual should not pass this movie up.
10/10. Will be recommending, the movie version, to all of my friends.
I was vaguely aware of this film before it was released, and I must admit, there was little about it that was compelling me to see it. But I watched it on DVD the other night, and thought it was easily one of the best British pictures of the last few years. It's a compelling story, and in spite of all the profanity, the vomiting and the many puerile outbursts, we really do engage with Noah, performed brilliantly by Peter Howitt. It's a gem of a film, and how it bypassed cinemas when so many truly appalling films find their way to multiplexes up and down the country is a mystery to me. Find it on DVD. And I defy anyone not to enjoy it.
I have read the book after seeing the trailer for the movie and wasn't
overawed by it, but last week saw the movie and I have to say that Mr
Howitt has created a work of genius.
He has managed to take all the tat out of the book and turn it into one fantastic movie. Admittedly it would be difficult to follow with the time flips if you hadn't read the book and the film is based in the UK as opposed to the US in the most part in the book.
But what a movie. Shocked by the ending, but what a ride all the way there. It was a movie that stayed with me all day the next day after watching it - it made me laugh, cry and feel emotive towards Noah - the anti-hero.
It will be the next Trainspotting for cult status. It was the only film in an awful long time that I wanted to watch again the next day to absorb everything that went on. Peter - you have managed to turn a good book into a wicked movie. I just cannot understand why it wasn't bigger, when you see the tat that the big studios release and earn millions - why was this not one of them? Wonders never cease.
My name is my own!
All the other comments have said everything I wanted to say about this
seminal piece of work.
I only watched it yesterday and have already forced two other people to watch it and they also loved it and thanked me for the nudge. I'm dying to see it again already. Best film I've seen in a long time. Wish I'd discovered it 2 years ago! I'd love to work on a film with Peter Howitt, with him in either a directing, acting or writing role, as I think the guy is amazing (if you are listening, please let me edit something for you - haha).
Not sure if this film won any awards, but if not, that is a crying shame.
I have met David Barrett, the film's editor and must congratulate him on a great job also.
WATCH THIS FILM!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I may be going overboard with the rating, but I would definitely give it no less than 8, and I want to encourage people to see this movie. I kind of rolled my eyes at the beginning as I thought it was a bit indulgent and over the top, but once the story got rolling, I was captivated by the lead character, British filmmaker Noah Arkwright, and his stumbling battle towards both sobriety and becoming a family man. Noah is so abrasive, profane and cynical, that while he's bitingly funny, at first you don't feel much sympathy. He reminded me of Gordon Ramsay. But when he's in the sober house and encounters the spirit of his mother, who died at his birth, I found myself deeply touched as well. We assume so much about people but it turns out we really don't know them at all and why they turned out a certain way. Noah meets the right woman and has a lovely child, but his past life of debauchery starts to catch up with him in the form of recurrent bouts of cancer. Even at its darkest this film never loses its humor or its humanity. The last half hour or so can be quite harrowing with Noah's medical treatments, but it's never depressing. The end is really, really well done and surprising, and really touched me. I don't think I will ever forget this film, and I'm eager to find my own copy now. A truly great film about addiction, sickness, spirituality, and the healing power of love.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think that the reviews so far are rather over-the-top in their
praise. Yes, this is a good film, it's amusing in places and it's a
pretty good film about dying.
It has some distinct longueurs, though. The whole alcoholics anonymous thing goes on too long, really, as does the rehabilitation stuff. As you'd expect, the AA doesn't really do anything for him, and it's rather sad that he can't enjoy a jar or two once he knows he's going to be dead shortly - something rather nasty about that. True enough, to life, in a way, it is all pretty tedious, but, when watching a film, you don't really need so much of the tedium to get the point.
The doctors, like the girlfriends, were all cut-out characters, making it, as the man says, a very self-indulgent film. I enjoyed it, though, on the whole.
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