Charlie Casanova

Charlie Casanova


Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Charlie Barnham is a loud Irish wide boy yuppie blessed with an IQ of 187 and two Masters degrees. He's also a psychopath, caring nothing for human dignity or compassion. In a movie which is entirely comprised of miserable, self-centred twits (the most sympathetic character is Kevin, Charlie's oldest "friend", a deeply indebted man with a broken marriage), Charlie may be the least appealing character I have ever seen in a movie.

He spews vitriol, sharing much of hateful right wing columnists thinking combined with the most demented of self convinced superiority complexes. "I hate the working class," "I am the alpha male." The film introduces us to him in one of many slavering, over-thought neo-liberal rants.

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He's fond of risky card games - the movie's springboard is the use of fate, in getting his acquaintances (Charlie has no concept of friendship beyond using people as tools in his narcissistic endeavours) dealing out cards as the answers to once-in-a-lifetime binary questions. This devolves into a free for all, where the unrestrained id is king and responsibilities are someone else's problem. Charlie has a ball, setting fire to his car and flipping the bird to the cops to start off with, and everyone else has less imagination, delving into unfulfilling rumpy pumpy.

As a movie, it's well-enough made, even if the sound editing could use some enhancement; it was often hard to make out some of the dialogue. I understand it was made on a budget that would out-cost shoestrings. The film is aptly photographed, with dingy lighting and somewhat inventive setups. It's edited to a frenzy as the characters' escapades escalate, climaxing in an excruciating stand up routine.

Emmet Scanlan is an engaging lead as Charlie; I only wish the script had stronger ideas about what to do with this evil little louse.

Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2011
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A ruling class sociopath kills a working class girl in a hit-and-run then determines his fate with a deck of cards.
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Director: Terry McMahon

Writer: Terry McMahon

Starring: Emmet Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Valeria Bandino, Johnny Elliott, Thomas Farrell, Damien Hannaway, Ruth McIntyre, Glenn McMahon, Anthony Murphy, Tommy O'Neil, Anouck Sablayrolles

Year: 2010

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: Ireland


EIFF 2011

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