3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Unique in every way,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Malcolm [DVD] (DVD)You've never seen a movie quite like MALCOLM. I caught it on TV years ago when Australian movies were all the rage. This is the film that introduced me to the music of The Penguin Cafe Orchestra - although the pieces were not composed specifically for the film they might as well have been, they complement it perfectly. If you associate the 'Telephone And Rubber Band' music only with the phone advert, just wait till you see how it works in this movie.
This was also the first time I'd seen Colin Friels and what a superb performance he gives in what could have been a very difficult role. He captures the balance between the quirkiness and the savvy that is essentially at the heart of Malcolm's untapped genius. The DVD blurb describes this character, based on the real-life brother of director Nadia Tass, as "slow-witted" - he is far from that. He just doesn't operate by the conventions of everyone else within his society, but those who take him for a fool soon realise they have seriously under-estimated him.
For the director, this work is clearly a labour of love for a much-missed individual, and while some of the antics within the story become somewhat far-fetched it never becomes simply farce or slapstick. It is not 'gentle' comedy. In fact, it's rather rough with some of the colourful language one expects from earthy Aussies, but it is never offensive. Children and grandmothers will adore Malcolm equally. In fact, children will be particularly drawn to his insouciant innocence. My son was very taken by the character when he was 10 years old and has gone on to develop a similar inventiveness with regards to gadgets and technology although, to my knowledge, he hasn't actually robbed any banks yet!
Some critics have been troubled by the apparent moral ambiguity within this film - why should we be rooting for people who are, let's face it, criminals and losers? Because they're really the good guys, and both Lindy Davies as Judith and John Hargreaves as Frank need a chap like Malcolm to bring out the decency in them. So this film is uplifting and honest when you come to think about it. It's a 'feel-good' movie that keeps you that way.
The DVD is excellent - great picture, fabulous sound - and the extras, with a menu presented just like one of Malcolm's rail layouts, are very informative in putting this movie within context, both of the film-makers' lives and Australian cinema in general. A must-see movie.