Thursday, 18 December 2008

A Middle Boop Film Review! Eagle Vs Shark


Directed by: Taika Waititi
Written by: Loren Horsley and Taika Waititi
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Loren Horsley


Lilly (Loren Horsley) an innocent, naive, quiet, shy, fragile, miss-fit with a monotone voice and a bad slouch who works a fast food restaurant called Meaty Boy. She becomes fixated with Jarrod (Jemaine Clement, best known from The Flight of The Conchords) an arrogant, selfish, social reject, geek who works in a video games store. Jarrod’s true passion is for video games and being the champion at a fighting game, along with an obsession to beat up his old high school bully. He arrogantly neglects Lilly and even uses her and her brother’s car to get home so he can finally duke it out with his nemesis.

(Monotone voice)
“Hello I’m Lilly welcome to meaty boy please may I take your order? Could I interest you in the crazy burger? Its meat, then its bread, then its more meat, its like an inside out burger!”

Like the burger, Eagle Vs Shark is an inside out rom-com from New Zealand, which is currently available to buy on DVD. It is very different to many Hollywood rom-coms occupied with glamorous good-looking a-list actors and fairy tale storylines. And for some reason there’s always a token British actor abusing his British accent and gentlemanly charm. I’m pointing my fingers straight at Hugh Grant and Jude Law! (For now anyway) Moving away from clich├ęd-stereotyped rom-coms, EVS has flawed and ugly characters. Characters that also stay ugly right through the film without any last gasp makeovers turning our ugly ducklings into swans, while meeting the expectations of our cultures obsession with youth, fame and beauty.
Lilly and Jarrod have a sense of immaturity within their performances relating their attitudes to teenagers, which heighten their social difficulties. This in turn causes a lot of embarrassing and awkward moments. These moments fuel the films comedic elements creating a fair few laughs along the way. A good example would be the party scene followed by the sex scene. Jarrod hosts an animal fancy dress party, which turns out to be a complete shambles (the party of nightmares if you were hosting that is). Here is where the film gets its title; Lilly is dressed as a shark and Jarrod as a…? Well the eagle, sorry for stating the obvious! This turns into a good example of their awkward nature towards any form of relationship as they begin to get close to one another for the first time. Jarrod and Lilly are lying on the bed kissing, they stop, awkward silence, Jarrod “Would you like to have sex?” Pause another awkward silence. Lilly then responds in her monotone voice “Urgh…yeah.” What follows is so quick Lilly doesn’t even take off her shark costume!
As we watch the film a stop motion animation weaves its way throughout the narrative. It is about an apple that Lilly eats and a rotten apple that Jarrod throws away. Both the rotten and the eaten apple represent the two characters and their journeys through life and their relationships. A perfect reflection and representation of the films themes and characters being outsiders, a visual aid as you will, if people like to look into things with great detail.

Eagle Vs Shark trots along at a steady pace taking you on an entertaining and rewarding journey that builds up to a hilarious conclusion. The actor’s performances really help the films enjoyment. Fans of Flight of The Conchords will love Jemaine who really excels as the geek Jarrod and Loren really is very dull as Lilly! A film full of awkward and embarrassing moments that delight with laughs directed at the characters rather than with them. Reminding us of how hard it really is to being sociable! Or thank god we’re not that socially retarded! The choice is yours.

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