Levi is a washed-up academic who uses his genetic disorder - ectrodactyly, or lobster claw syndrome - as an excuse for across-the-board bitterness and rage. Hope surfaces when he meets ...
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Levi is a washed-up academic who uses his genetic disorder - ectrodactyly, or lobster claw syndrome - as an excuse for across-the-board bitterness and rage. Hope surfaces when he meets sophisticated professor Jane; but Levi's love, like his rage, can err on the side of intensity... Written by
Edinburgh International Film Festival
The closest well-known movie I can think of to liken it to, in terms of themes, story, and character, is Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King. But The Crab is more realistic and less Hollywood, and it has a feel of 1970s cinema (although it is set in modern day).
The story manages to be emotionally moving while remaining unsentimental. I don’t want to give away how it ends, but it’s worth noting that it could easily have descended into sentimentality, but, in writer-director Rona Mark’s hands, it doesn’t, and it makes no compromises. It’s a deceptively simple ending for a deceptively simple story that works on many different levels.
It’s listed as a comedy -- it could just as easily be listed as a drama, albeit a drama with many wickedly funny parts. It’s certainly not a comedy in the mode of the cookie-cutters that Hollywood studios stamp out; if The Crab is a comedy, its humour is more along the lines of a Hal Ashby film such as Harold and Maude, Shampoo, or Being There.
Guy Whitney is outstanding as Levi: a tough role, to say the least, and he nails it. Most of the comedy comes from his character’s sardonic wit. And (I'm again trying not to give away too much) his climactic confrontation with Jane is among the more disturbing sequences I’ve seen. No punches are pulled, physically, psychologically, or metaphorically.
I’d also like to identify the karaoke scene as being a highlight.
This film seems to be well-received so far on the underground film circuit. It’s a shame that a terrific, unconventional film like this doesn’t get wider play. Definitely seek it out.
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