Survive Style 5+ (2004)

The more I think about this movie, the more I like it, even though I'm fairly sure I didn't understand at least half of it. But I definitely liked it...

Summing up the basic plot, the usual refuge of any film critic, is difficult because Survive Style 5+ weaves together several different narratives, each one more bizarre than the last. There's a man whose wife utterly refuses to stay dead (and insists on cooking various feasts whenever she wanders back from the grave); there's a man who gets hypnotised to believe he's a bird, and whose family has to deal with the consequences; there's a bizarre marketing exec who invents rubbish TV adverts; and there's Vinnie Jones, as an aggressive English hitman. Not playing to type at all, then.

Oh, nearly forgot one - there's a group of thieves, one of whom is a little more romantically interested in one of the others than might be entirely appropriate. There's really so much going on in this film that it's hard to keep track, though that does mean that the rather intimidating 120-minute runtime flies by.

Other plus points include some very offbeat humour, more than one person unexpectedly flying, and some of the most outrageously decorated homes you've ever seen. Everything in this film feels amped up: more colour, more character, more madness. It's as though the movie is straining at the seams trying to contain everything that's been rammed into it, and with all the odd little details that creep in around the edges, seems to be a movie that will reward repeat viewings. In spite of all the dark and unpleasant things that happen in the movie - it's got Vinnie Jones running around killing people, for a start - the ending is strangely uplifting, and even sort of sweet.


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1 comment:

soulmining said...

Cool, you're the first person I know that has seen this (apart from me, obviously) - I reviewed it for EMB last year. Love the vibrant colour palette used in the film and my favourite character was the Dad who thinks he's a bird...