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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising but exhausting tale of addiction, 4 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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If ever a film was as infuriating , repellent , intriguing , and plain all over the shop as it's main character it's Dangerous Parking . We first meet auteur like film director Noah Arkwright(Peter Howitt) as he flees an AA meeting after loudly (Noah tends to do everything loudly it transpires) declaiming everyone else attending as "s**t". Since this group includes his best mate Ray (Sean Pertwee) and the new acquaintance Kirstin( Rachel Stirling) who is having a positive effect on his life this neatly surmises just how selfish., coarse and tediously self absorbed Noah really is. What it most begs however is how are the audience supposed to invest knocking on 2 hours of their life's in this prize t**t?
Noah is one of those people who indulges in every vice going - drink , drugs , sex - and in mind boggling quantities but like most of these characters isn't that interesting and indeed is more an irritating pain in the arse than anything. After he meets the delightfully positive Kirstin Noah stars to turn his life around but then fate snatches her from him .However redemption arrives again in the form of gorgeous cellist Claire (Saffron Burrows) who he marries and has children with . Then he is diagnosed with cancer.
Adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Stuart Browne the narrative of the story jumps around like a tick on a tiny trampoline. Allied to this director Howitt utilises lots of cinematic jiggery pokery to keep the audience on their toes. A sardonic voice over, animated sequences , technical effects are amalgamated to the energetic performances to bombard the senses .Its like being in Arkwright's head for the period and this is not a pleasant experience.
Consequently I felt alienated from the main character rather than empathising with him. Some may view his reaction to his illness as brave and sparky but to me it's like the artifice that was his life removed him slightly from the reality of his situation and the more his rambling aggrandisement went on the less sympathy I felt. In fact the person I most sympathised with was his wife who I could not believe would put up with a monumental pr**k like him.
Dangerous Parking is in some respects a commendable film. The performances are terrific and Peter Howitt is colossal as the unlikable Noah -possibly too much so - as his noxious personality is truly over whelming .Its occasionally funny and its uncompromising and vigorous creativity is to be applauded. However this is paradoxically also it's greatest failing . After an hour it's flailing narrative and in your face energy has gone from absorbing to exhausting. And given that the lead character describes himself ( self awareness is his one virtue) as a "w**ker" and "ar**hole" it's hardly likely the audience will disagree and fall in love with him like the beautiful Claire. That only happens in the movies , even one as fractured and loud as this.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Sep 2008 07:45:06 BDT
Good critique. The only mystery is why you gave it two stars.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2008 16:16:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Sep 2008 16:16:38 BDT
No mystery involved. I state that in many respects it,s a commendable film. The actings great, it,s occasionally visually inventive and funny . I also state thats it,s uncompromising and vigorous creativity is to be applauded. Hence the extra star.
Mind you , if i were to judge this movie on it,s main character alone the only star it would get would be a pointy metal one winging it,s way toward said characters forehead.
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Location: halifax, west yorks

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