I've bought this film after reading a small article on the IMDB writing about a standing ovation to Robert Downey Jr. at the end of the screening of The Singing Detective at the Toronto Film Festival, and I've discovered a little surprising movie.
Produced by Mel Gibson who choose both the director and the lead, hiring Downey in a period of his life where he was unassurable and giving him the chance to demonstrate once again his talent.
This makes me appreciate once more Gibson as a person not only as an actor. He cut for himself a support role which shows him in a strange bald character with thick glasses.
The Singing Detective is based on a script written by Dennis Potter the author of the TV series of 1986 with the same name with Michael Gambon as the lead, who managed to shrink 8 hours of TV movie into 2 hours of film and made it perfectly. Mel Gibson in an interview in the DVD extras defines Potter a Genious and I agree.
Why buy it?
1) Robert Downey Junior and Mel Gibson.
2) The fabulous songs from the fifties.
3) A script built on a disgusting disease that originates a great movie.
Last but not least, listen to Robert Downey Junior in the end credits singing one of the movie songs showing that even if the script was written to use playback he could have sang all the songs.
The DVD has not many extras, just the cast and director interviews, but it is definitely worth buying. "I'm just a squirrel waiting for a nut!" one of the best thank yous I've ever listened to.
Hope to make you curious enough to buy it.