14 October 2006 | edweiland
Dark and dreary
I caught this movie at the Bend Film Festival last night. First note is the audience reaction was not good. That could have been because the crowd was in sort of a silly, upbeat mood since it was Friday evening and had viewed a couple of humorous shorts before "Modern Love". This movie is dark, moody and humorless, which might have worked better on a Sunday afternoon with a more serious crowd. That said, I still have some problems with this movie. Some technical things were done well. The use of darkness and light in the first part of the film is neat and the two leads, Mark Constable and Victoria Hill, do a good job of portraying a passionless couple without wasting time on getting into the reasons for the state of their marriage. Later Constable does a good job of going slowly from serious, hard-working family man to what may or may not be a crazy person. There was also some great photography. That aside, I can't say I liked this movie. It seems the director is trying to emulate David Lynch and fell short. There were too many long scenes with very little dialog and this got tiresome by the end. The characters from the small town were just strange. They weren't lovably strange, quirky or even interesting. As the movie goes on you're sort of waiting for an explanation for the behavior of John, the main character. When that finally happens the revelation isn't particularly earthshaking. I haven't seen many Australian movies, nor do I know much about the place and that might skew my feelings some. But in general I found this movie dark, dreary and increasingly difficult to watch as it wore on.