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In the port town of Hamburg, Germany, Floyd decides that he's shipping out to South Africa and Singapore now that his two-year probation for an unspecified juvenile offense has been completed. When he shares the news with his devoted friends Chubby, a mechanic, and Ricco, a fast-food cook and would-be b-boy, they can't comprehend their thoughtful friend's willingness to trade camaraderie for a wider view of the world. Overcoming their anger and bewilderment, the guys decide to spend one last night with Floyd, but the problem, as always, is how to find some fun. A succession of fast-food restaurants, parking garages, and local watering holes chronicles the inherent boredom of life in the provinces. But a run-in with a convention of dragster-racing Elvis impersonators sends the boys and their friend Telsa Julia Hummer on a series of adventures that veers from the farcical to the almost-tragic.Written by
The first thing that I can remember is when I got a sparkler from my mother on New Year's Eve. The sky was full of rockets and fireworks that exploded and sparked. That was loud. But I wasn't afraid. I just held my sparkler up to the dark sky... and shook it like crazy. I shook it so hard, so incredibly hard, as hard as I could. And even harder. Until I couldn't any more and on and on. Senseless and harder and harder. And I was small. And so was the sparkler. But I was part of the ...
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Funny yet awfully sad, Gigantic is never less than enthralling and gut wrenchingly real.
At its beginning, Gigantic (English title) seems a fun story of three friends united by their shared interest in girls, cars, and avoiding the responsibilities "the future"will invariably bring. By its end, Gigantic has become one of the most moving and charming films about the ties that bind that I've seen in recent years.
Hamburg, complete with its drab industrial foreshores and sometimes uninviting urban decay, is the setting for Gigantic and is as much as character as the three friends Lloyd, Walter and Rocco. It's no surprise, once we've trawled past the faceless apartment blocks and rusting waterfront sheds, that Lloyd wants out. What is a surprise is that he springs his news on his great friends with no time to prepare them for the shock. He leaves tomorrow, at sunrise.
In spite of their anger, and fear, Walter and Rocco go along with Lloyd's desire to have one great final night together. It begins fervently, excitingly, but as events go awry and daylight slowly inches over the horizon, the crushing reality of what is to follow sets in for the trio, who along the way also pick up their next door neighbour, the gorgeous but self destructive Tesla.
Debut director/writer Sebastian Schipper knows the value of understatement. Instead of stuffing his screenplay full of worthy but dull ruminations on the meaning and importance of friendships, he lets his characters do the talking for him. Boldly, Schipper uses a single, funereal piece of music over and over to signify moments of emotional crisis for his characters. The move is risky but pays dividends - Lloyd, Walter and Rocco don't have to say much to get across what they are really feeling. It's also a testament to the abilities of the actors playing these parts that you feel greatly for their pasts, presents, and especially futures.
The finale of Gigantic is heartbreaking, and deliberately ambiguous. Not only is it the perfect conclusion to the chaotic night before it, which is in itself a metaphor for the inherent turmoil of close friendships, it is enough to make you want to go out and phone every friend you haven't spoken to in years to find out how they are doing. Few films have the ability to move and entertain as well as say something about the pain and joy of simply being alive and knowing other people. Gigantic is one of them. It's a masterpiece.
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