Siam Sunset

Siam Sunset


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

As an example of comic ideas going to waste, Aussie actor John Polson's directorial debut is a good one. After a stylish start and a promising middle, the latter stages disintegrate into slapstick. It is as if he had been influenced by outback road movies, with that quirky Oz humour that likes blood on the windscreen.

Perry (Linus Roache) is an industrial scientist, who works with paint. All he wants to do is find the perfect red, what he calls Siam Sunset. After his wife is killed in a freak accident - a fridge freezer falls out of an aeroplane on top of her - he becomes so depressed, he thinks catastrophe follows him everywhere. His firm gives him a sabbatical and he wins a competition for a trip to Australia.

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Once in Adelaide, he joins a clapped-out coach full of boring people, until Grace (Danielle Cormack) bribes her way on-board in the middle of nowhere after her car crashes. She's on the run from a violent drug-dealing ex-lover, whose stash of petty cash she has stolen. Naturally, she's sex on legs, which is supposed to jump start Perry's libido.

Roache method acts depression so well, it takes him forever to come back to life. Cormack is straight up. Subtlety eludes her. The others on the coach are a cross section of excellent performers, with not enough to do. When Grace's man catches up with them, things get nasty and fall apart. If Perry wasn't such a drip, the movie might have been a romantic comedy with balls.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A man hooks up with a group of eccentrics on a roadtrip after the death of his wife.
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Director: John Polson

Writer: Max Dann, Andrew Knight

Starring: Linus Roache, Danielle Cormack, Ian Bliss, Roy Billing, Alan Brough, Rebecca Hobbs, Terry Kenwrick, Deidre Rubenstein, Peter Hosking, Victoria Eagger, Robert Menzies

Year: 1999

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


EIFF 1999

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