Title: DVD review: Quiet Night In Credit: Larry Jenkins Movies Wednesday 9th May 2007 - 12:00pm1178668800 Article: 1706 Rights
Brian McKay, Nicollette Kenny Rebecca (Gay), as narcissistic a cow as Rob is a wanker, shrill and irritating - an emotional leech; Lawrence (Mckay) and William (Helviphat), a mock May-December relationship, or are they? And Sean (Moore), previously seen in flashback rubbishing Jessica's work, whom she ultimately despatches with a gun. (Miss Kenny in the parlour with the pistol, geddit?) For YES these Pinteresque proceedings are tightly bound by the board game Cluedo, even to the colour coding of each character and the plethora of references to that famous rainy-day amusement. Jess avows that her novel is inspired by the game; certainly Banks's film exploits it. The murder weapons all appear as symbols in the film and there is that same sense of fun with an underlying macabre tone present when we all indulge in it. Towards the end the characters all sit down prepared to play a game, but Buñuel-like, it never really takes off and then its components are cataclysmically swept off the table when Jess erupts like a volcano after having displayed a Job-like stoicism for an hour. But, finally, when the denouement is upon us (or is that possible existentially speaking?) the silly woman goes and kills Sean, the wrong man, or at least he might have been the wrong man. I would've shot the old fart. The twists and turns of the script are one thing, but scattered around are enough symbols to colonize a Wagner opera. There are Hitchcock-like flashes of photographs (one half expects a cameo appearance from Banks himself), numerical puzzles and riddles, references to other films, personal allusions (one assumes), and mysterious turns enough to make Christie (no, dear, Agatha, not Julie) fanatics dance for joy. I've viewed it twice and I can already see that it could catch on and be as trendy a pastime as Trivial Pursuits, the inheritor of Cluedo's popularity. Picture us in future trying to one-up our dinner guests by knowing who was in that photograph on the table, or why the cutlery was grouped in sets in Jess's kitchen drawer and that that normal bottle of wine seemed to contain a magnum or two. Perhaps it'll spawn its own board game. Richard J Lambert's art direction is brilliant – an entirely retro set (I'd kill for those mock-leopard settees) and lighting producing a clean, pseudo-cartoon effect. I kept thinking that if were to BLOWUP a frame I'd discover all the images were composed of dots. This is a must next time you're in your local VideoEzy. It's poised to be called a comedic masterpiece by people who know one when it hits them in the face like a custard pie. Note: Chris Banks is a former journalist who is now communications manager for the NZ AIDS Foundation. Coincidentally, regular performance reviewer Larry Jenkins is the events manager for the Foundation. Larry Jenkins - 9th May 2007    
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