Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review Tuesday: 'Blessed'

Today’s ‘Review Tuesday’. Blessed [1] is a 2009 Australian drama. Set in the late 1990s and filmed in Melbourne, it’s divided into two parts. The first part tells the stories of seven disaffected children from five socially deprived and financially stressed families. The second part tells the same stories from the viewpoints of the five mothers. Three of the mothers are lone parents, one lives with the father of her children, and one lives with a boyfriend. Both parts of the film show an unremitting struggle of life, such as it is, in an urban wasteland. It’s bleak, gritty, dark, desperate and depressing. The movie’s a loose adaption of the 1998 play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? – which consists of four [2] or maybe five [3] separate but interweaving stories each written by a separate writer. (All four, or four out of five, of the writers wrote the screenplay [4].) Blessed is an ambitious project. It’s been very well reviewed [5, 6]. The acting, locations and cinematography are all first class. But I think that overall the movie fails: too many children, too many mothers, too many stories. Three stories with more interweaving and a more than minimal story arc would’ve been a big improvement. Still, it’s heartening that the local film industry’s vibrant and confident enough to tackle a film of such complexity. My rating? Three stars.

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