Puppy (2005) Poster

(2005)

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9/10
Surprisingly good debut feature, funny and strange
ifnotnow21 December 2006
Though the story seems a bit familiar at first, the execution and the acting are this film's main strengths. It's a story about a guy who rescues a woman from committing suicide and then takes her to his remote house where we learn he has mistaken her for his missing wife. You guesses it, he's off his rocker. At this point I was circumspect about where the rest of the film would go, but kudos to the writer (whose also the director), it really took off when they were alone together in the house. The two lead actors are very good and could easily be the next Australian exports. At times they were funny, charming, mean, clever, dumb, unattractive and sexy - they are both pretty good looking. A couple of the minor supporting actors were a bit weak, but the one who played the sister was really good too.

I liked Puppy because it was unpredictable.There were a few scenes that were pretty rude but that's Australians! The film is beautifully shot - not your low budget crappy production qualities - real film, real sound and a nice score.

If you like stories with alternative narratives (like Almodovar) then you'll be able to go along for the ride.
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9/10
Two Thumbs and a few fingers
DSfilmreviewer11 July 2007
This is a very funny, very odd, intoxicating little film. It sucks you in and then it spits you out not sure if you should be feeling so good about such morally questionable people and their very strange relationship. It reminded me a bit of Secretary in the way that it's an unusual love story but this goes a bit further because I'm not sure it's really a love story in the end or just two people who end up in a relationship built on lies and manipulation. No idea why it's so charming given this predicament, but a lot comes down to excellent performances and the way the film is shot - very nice sequences and moody.
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8/10
From Bearded Nutjob to Paranoid Schizophrenic Dreamboat
apostate035 April 2006
Well, my girlfriend seemed to think the main guy was handsome without his beard at least. I can't imagine this film will be released in America so I'm lucky to have seen it at the Philadelphia International Film Festival.

Overall the movie makes great use of its hour and a half running time, being consistently absorbing throughout its entirety. The story is rather standard of captive growing to trust their captor fare and then turning the tables on them, but it is wittily written enough to make the concept seem fresh. Much of this has to due with the superb straight-forward direction without a lot of tricky camera work, so that in some ways it is reminiscent of a Dogma film. Especially nice is that there is no over- or melodramatic score interrupting the natural flow of the scenes which is always a plus Overall a highly recommended film.
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6/10
More Realistic than "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down"
humm515 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This slow-paced film is an interesting take on a traditional kidnapping story, a girl who does not want to figure out the next step in her life so she tries to kill herself. Her rescuer? A man without his meds, seeing his estranged wife on the face of the stranger. Quickly catching on to his delusional state, the kidnap victim toys with her mentally unstable kidnapper to lessen the severity of her situation. It is clear from the start, however, that she is not wholly unhappy, perhaps due to the circumstances that brought her to this point. Her attempts to escape are almost token, as though she knows she should leave but cannot bring herself to. This take on an abductee falling for the abductor is different enough to recommend. Even if you dislike the film Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down like I do, you just may enjoy this variation on a theme.
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9/10
Funny, Sexy, Engaging, Clever. I want more!
asit-happens21 August 2008
Surprising. Engaging. Clever. Funny. Sexy. Challenging. Not a Sundance kind of indie crowd pleaser with lashings of cheese and sentimentality, but it's definitely charming and memorable. A little scary at times but not ugly or violent and being a girl, it's nice to see strong, sexy, manipulative chick at the heart of the film. The other comments in this thread reveal enough of the plot and story so I'm not going to say anything about that but I must keep writing because IMDb says I need to write a 10 line review. How about this - Puppy has some inventive uses for a vacuum cleaner and a Polaroid camera, and then there is a bit with a candle that you'd probably only see in an emergency ward, and there are some dogs, 3 I think, but it doesn't go all that well for them. Why is Bernard Curry not a big star here, he is so sexy, especially when he is shaved, I could drown in his eyes, not to mention his butt which gets a good airing. But hormones aside, he and Nadia Townsend are awesome. They have a lot of sexual chemistry. So that's my ten lines. Go see it for something unique, funny and sexy.
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10/10
hard to define this movie, which is part of what makes it great
krotkruton7 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I only checked the "spoiler" box for the next paragraph I'm going to write, so if you really want to, you can read everything after that.

This movie is kind of like taking a watered down (and by watered down, I mean not so psychotic) Buffulo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and send him out on a date with the bad girl from Poison Ivy. A little while into the movie, I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen in the end, only I didn't believe that the movie actually had the balls to do it. You don't see a lot of movies that deviate from the Hollywood norm for their genre and are still able to pull it off well. The other thing that really did it for me was that the people, for the most part, acted the way I would if I was in their messed up situation. There is nothing even close to a "girl runs up the stairs because she is being chased by a psychopath" scene. As the girl realizes she is dealing with someone who obviously doesn't have a good grasp on reality, instead of crying in the corner, she uses his illness against him. That is hard to find in movie about crazy people.

With that said, this movie is great for plenty of reasons. The acting is well done, and you actually care about the characters. I was constantly wondering what would happen to them, when one of them would snap, who would end up safe, etc. There were plenty of twists and turns to throw you off the scent at time, and a lack of twists at others so as to not be predictable. As I said above, although I figured out how the movie was going to end (or at least figured out how I wanted it to end), I didn't actually believe it until it happened. This movie is definitely worth watching for fans of thrillers or psychological movies. There is not a lot of violence so anyone who is faint of heart can enjoy it too. There might have been a couple startling moments, but nothing that made me flinch. All in all, great movie.
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2/10
Does anybody else think this movie was CRAP???
b24fun11 December 2006
I cannot believe all I'm reading about this movie comes from people who claim it was beautiful and well-done. It was well done, all right, if you ignored the tedious lines, the "absurd theater" construction and the utter lack of imagination which rendered the situations as completely uninspired and made you go "ahhh come on..." I will not even waste my time on explaining all the reasons I thought this movie was purely awful, I just want to know how anybody can think it was beautiful, clever or touching... And I would also like to know how a movie which is as "real" as Liz's life is considered authentic and worth watching. Everything in there is completely unauthentic, situations are poorly constructed, the love story is a sick twisted tale which escapes the rules of common reasonable sense, and that does not make the movie great. When a movie surprises you it just becomes unpredictable and that effect can be easily obtained once you completely turn a situation upside down, this does not mean that if you are taken by surprise you should bow to the imagination of the writer.

God, this was one of the worst ever. EVER
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7/10
A film for the bitch in you
richard231-11 September 2008
Though not without its faults it manages to straddle the line between caustic dark humor and edgy drama. There are many unique moments and great ideas, mixed in with some wickedly funny dialog and the kind of meanness that strikes a chord with the secret bitch inside everyone. Mostly a two-hander, Puppy takes its time unfolding. If you are expecting blood and guts horror, or chasing people up stairs and into bathrooms, then Puppy is not for you. The film is more concerned with understanding the two disconnected souls who collide and reshape each other. Nadia Townsend is a revelation as the smart mouthed, con artist Liz. Bernard Curry does an admirable, if at times slightly off-key take on the benevolent but psychotic tow truck driver Aiden. Supporting cast are adequate. With Sally Bull stealing the scenes allotted to her.

It's likely that Puppy was more ambitious than its budget allowed. Reportedly it was made for 250 grand, which is about the cost of fruit that gets wasted on the average Hollywood set. If that's true, then the film is a credit to the filmmakers and minor plotting problems and occasionally rough production values are easily forgiven.

Recommended for indie film fans. If you love predictable Hollywood films, you probably won't get Puppy. But it has to have one of the best lines in recent memory - Liz (playing with her delusional captor's mind) - "You're a psycho. I'm just @#$%ing with you."
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10/10
It's love all right!
tpizzamiglio26 September 2005
I was lucky enough to see the premier of this film in Sydney. This film is a stunning victory for a good story and great story telling.

It's amazing how refreshing it is to see a film which has got much more substance than hype and effects.

From the opening scenes of this movie you are drawn into the character "Liz" (Nadia Townsend) as if you are looking at the world through her eyes. You can feel a whole lot of the down and out scenario life can sometime deal out. Just as you think that Liz has taken all she can take and things are just about to end; we are introduced to the male lead Aiden (Bernard Curry) who seems to be a accidental hero but then we start to get an idea that not everything is as it seems!! whoosh Writer / Director Kieran Gavin takes us all along on a roller-coaster ride with plenty of twists and turns in the story. Kieran is masterful at portraying impossible situation with overbearing oppression so well that you almost wish that "you where there" when in reality your mind says you should be running the other way. Well if your going to be a running run on out see this one!! Thank you for making a "REAL" movie really well..
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7/10
$$ don't make a movie
megabite12 June 2007
I have just seen this movie at a premiere in Auckland it has a limited release coming up and I would say its worth a trip to the cinema....Its a thought provoking piece that gives you the chance to decide on the characters early on and then revisit those decisions many times over throughout....who needs Hollywood $$ this movie is well acted and even meeting the 'real' actors before the viewing didn't detract from the performance on screen.... This movie actually allows you to explore your own thoughts and reactions to events rather than moving too quickly to appreciate the dilemmas each character is facing....well paced My main concern during the film was the sound....Australian movies seem to have a 'sound' and this is no exception but the occasional 'distance' in the sound may have been the small venue we were watching in.
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8/10
beautiful...well done
amy-berg5 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
beautiful film. shows the dark sides of life in a more optimistic light. thats what we all experience and this film takes a real look at it. its a modern version of the double life of Veronique. it is nice to have a film that explores the dark sides without flashy Hollywood effects. the actors were amazing. especially the female lead (forgot her name.) i am told i need more words so here they are go see it. its well worth the time and money. so now they have condensed it i apologize for gibberish but i only can say who is that producer she spoke at the Newport festival after it screened and seemed so knowledgeable and worth hiring. xx
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6/10
Any Port in a Storm
rava-112 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
For me, Puppy rated somewhere in the middle of most of these reviews -- good and bad.

The good? Potential, potential, potential...The script is pretty original and this makes for interesting viewing, since the scenarios between Liz and Aiden smack with the potential of unexpected twists. There are several great scenes that allow Townsend and Curry to shine.

The bad? This potential is not always reached, particularly in regards to REAL depth of emotion and pacing of the film. The characters here often behave in unrealistic ways, even for those who are presented as such damaged goods. As to the pacing -- based purely on plot, this movie should have been really edgy, quick and darkly witty; unfortunately, the actors seem to be emoting in molasses and lots of potential for twisted fun is never realized.

It just seems that the film maker wimped out a bit by not having his actors go head to head more often and by not escalating the violence to the point where the audience sees the couple as being as thoroughly desperate as the movie's ending seems to imply. Are they "sick puppies," are they "kicked puppies?" or are they a bit of both? The movie seems to be saying that we are all dealing with imperfect lives and just need to make the best of it, finding harbor wherever we may.

If we are supposed to believe that Liz manipulates the end of their love story as much as suggested, we need more than an, "Oh no, she's pregnant out of wedlock" motivation. Someone who is not truly damaged goods would simply not do the things she does; if she is so desperate, where is that in the story (attempted suicide over cruddy life notwithstanding)?

Anyway -- overall, I liked Puppy, but I won't feel a strong desire to revisit these characters and I really wish it hadn't been unreeled in such a listless fashion.
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