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After enjoying Noi Albino I was excited to see this movie when it popped up at my local art-house cinema.
I'm rather bemused by all the positive comments on it as it's really dreadful, a totally nose-dive for the director. Whereas Noi Albino is an impressive slight and tender vision of outsider culture, Dark Horse is a bad scripted and jarring attempt to render the same kind of characters.
Primarily the major problems are that the first half is supposed to be funny and isn't, while the second half is supposed to be profound and isn't. The blur between naturalism and style makes it very difficult to engage with the movie. The style on show is accompanied by the prerequsisite "glitzy" style music of mobile phone adverts, shorthand in our culture for ditzy art school cool. The jokes in the first half are strictly of the "here's a man trying to clean a wall, oh look! the water jet spray is strong so he's stumbled backwards variety". There is a barely a genuine laugh in it.
To make things worse, the director's vision of life is hopeless limited. The main character ends up giving up messing around with his life in order to have a baby and even ends up wearing a f**king cardigan into the bargain. Talk about black and white. Meanwhile another character wanders around doing absolutely nothing for the entire movie in what appears to be some kind of bourgeous satire. I turned to my girlfriend over an hour and a quarter and asked "who is that guy again?" Not a good sign with a major character.
This film is bad on every level. Badly shot, badly scripted, good actors wasted with flimsy characters. Silly worldview. Not funny.
It's little wonder that this film disappeared completely for two years before appearing on British cinema screens. It might have been better for the director if it had disappeared altogether. He's got a big whole to climb out of now and a lot to prove in order to confirm that Noi Albino wasn't just a happy mistake...
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