Hughes and Lost Highway have both mentioned this recently, so i decided to give it a go. Impressive, very impressive indeed. Its a simple tale that is incredibly disturbing because its content really could happen to any of us. A normal family of a Dad, Mum and teenage boy and girl are planning to move to a house by the sea. The Dad is expecting a promotion at work, and so can easily afford the new house. The teenage girl has been given a video camera and decides to document the daily life of the family as they prepare to move. So far so normal, BUT, it would seem a little bit of stress and money issues can seriously damage a family and push them, literally, to the brink of madness!
Completely filmed on a very intentionally amateurish video camera we get to know the family. The loving, caring supportive wife, the full of life father, the leader, the rock of the family, the one they all look to for help, the fun loving teenage son who likes to tease his Dad, and the quiet daughter. As the film moves along things start to get a bit desperate for the poor Dad. His idea to build a pool in the back garden to increase the selling price of their house backfires, someone puts in an offer on the house they want to buy which is higher than his and so on. Simple, average occurrences, but ones that, when they all come at once, can push people over the edge. The Dads behaviour changes, the daughters obsession with her neighbours daughter increases, the poor Mother is doing her best, and the son is increasingly scared of his erratic Dad.
To say much more would give the whole plot away, but you can see where its going. All the actors do a wonderful job, and as i always say, these handheld camera movies do seem to bring out the best in an actors ability. Maybe its because they’re not so pressurised to read from a script and be the focus of attention and they get to improvise and not even realise the camera is on them. Either way, the characters are incredibly believable, and no one really does anything out of the ordinary. Nothing is unbelievable and to watch how easy stress can get to you is one of the most disturbing things i have seen all year. Its worrying that with today’s current state of affairs we don’t hear more stories like this. Claiming to be video footage “found” and listed in an investigation as “exhibit A”, this is a very real and very relative and current film about the horrors of wanting to give your family the best you can. A sad tale, a desperate tale and ultimately very upsetting. Maybe the government should watch this to see how tough life can really be