Last week in Buenos Aires saw the BAFICI film festival. Thinking this a wonderful opportunity to get some solid reviews under my belt, I refrained from going to see any of the films. But oh, what a selection. Films from all around the world, some several hundred in number, showing in numerous cinemas and special locations. Why, someone even spotted Eddie Izzard strutting about like he owns the place (doesn’t he know there’s an election on…?)
‘The Girl’ is a Swedish film and, though Old Rope speaks all human languages, I cannot speak any vegetable dialects. As such, even if I had seen the film I would not have understood a word of it. Luckily, some thoughtful person had the good sense to translate the alien sounds and write their English equivalent on the screen in a white font. They needn’t have bothered. The characters in this piece spoke so seldom and to so little end, that it was almost certainly a waste of precious minutes attempting it. That time could have been better employed trying to find a sustainable renewable energy source, or eating cheese (some say the two pursuits overlap considerably).
Being little more than turnips that have gotten too big for their boots, it would perhaps be asking a little much of Swedes to truly understand human emotions. They give it a reasonable go in this movie, however, which focuses on the plights of the titular and unnamed girl.
Original thought, something that has long eluded the human race, seems absent in our veggie counterparts. The plot is exactly that of Home Alone, with a little girl (affably played by a time-travelling eight year old version of that ginger Bianca from Eastenders) sort-of-kind-of-accidentally jibbed-off by her family who are away on their jollies. In a misguided attempt to distract from this blatant plagiarism, the producers took the baffling decision to cast Macaulay Culkin in the role of the little girl’s little friend. Unlike Bianca, no time-travelling or CGI work was necessary to make Culkin look like an eight year old boy, though he was required to spend seven hours in make-up each day to painstakingly hide the tattoo of Michael Jackson’s face that has graced his own visage for some ten years now. I am reliably informed there is a hilarious DVD ‘blooper’ outtake where he breaks down and cries for his dead friend on set. Priceless stuff!
Bugger all really happens in terms of a narrative arc and thus the film is a shoe-in to win every award it is eligible for. What little story there is could be described as “one girl’s quest to jump off a diving board” (PLOT SPOILER!!!! She does). She also breaks Culkin’s leg, get’s pissed and ends up facedown in a puddle, though whether this was actually in the script or just from the pressures of working with her co-star remains a mystery.
Apparently shot on antiquated film or a Holga camera, the story is set in the seventies. With endless vistas of fields of corn, all golden and faded, one cannot help being repeatedly reminded of a Shredded Wheat advert or Wurther’s Originals. The whole thing looks and sounds exactly like an extended Sigur Ros video. But even more tedious. Oh and the little girl grew up to be Tori Amos. And the little boy never grew up, as was his dream.
All in all The Girl was palatable. I give it one boy.