Poster boy for the ruling class, Charlie Barnum has it all, the perfect wife, the property portfolio and the loyalty of his best friend. The fact that Charlie requires Viagra to have sex with his wife, is losing his properties, and has seduced his best friend's wife, means nothing to Charlie, because Charlie is living on dangerously borrowed time. An innocent working class girl is killed in a hit and run, and, as the blood pours from her injuries, Charlie, the man who knocked her down, consults his deck of playing cards and chooses to abdicate responsibility for all future deeds. Lies become truths, reality becomes fantasy, and, as Charlie embroils the three comfortable couples in the ugly excesses and sanctimonious prejudices of his new found power, they discover some deeply disturbing truths about each other. Employing dangerously subversive, provocatively dark, and satirically disturbing humor, Charlie Casanova re-imagines Billy Liar and Walter Mitty as a sickeningly compelling ...Written by
I wanted to like 'Charlie Casanova', I really did...
I've been a bit vocal in my urging for people to go and watch this film, purely as I feel that someone with the balls to make a movie for under a grand deserves to have their film noticed. Still, though, after finally getting to see it, I think that it could have been much more. Instead, could someone please explain to me how something so recent can feel like it has aged so terribly?
It felt dated like a late 80's TV play that may once have had something, but the years have worn away at its impact. A real shame, as with a little more care and attention, there could have been so much more power. Whilst I have nothing but admiration for McMahon's punk rock take on the "let's do the show right here" ethos, I just wish that the final result had been as powerful as his post-festival-screening campaign to divide the viewers and rile the critics.
The script had some wonderful moments, admittedly, but for my tastes came over a little stagy in places. However, despite this, Emmett Scanlan's delivery and performance were very deserving of all the accolades that have since come his way. Terry McMahon definitely has a way with actors, and gets the best out of his cast. Unfortunately his direction appears to be more towards what the cast do, and less to what we actually see in the frame. In the hands of another director, there may have been a different outcome - dialogue-heavy scripts are not always stagy, and can often provide an electric energy when combined with intense visuals (just look at the early films of Andrzej Zulawski for great examples of this). Perhaps it was due to budgetary constraints after all, but then again wasn't that one of 'Charlie Casanova's big selling points? Did adopting the punk ethic unwittingly sap it of all its punk energy?.
Maybe if the funding had come Terry's way before shooting, then this film might have delivered tenfold, with a little more time and a little more care. I've no doubt whatsoever that Terry McMahon is a great writer, and has a gift for directing actors. I'm sure that one day he will also be able to add great filmmaker to that list, and will one day make a film that delivers on all its promises. It's just a shame that this wasn't it. It could have been, and I really wish it had been...
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