Monday, 21 November 2011

Opinion: B

Some might view this as yet another all-too-familiar road-trip journey to inner-self film, but it features relatively good chemistry between all the misfit characters and relatively lively act by a prominent few. Vincent may be a guy who's struggling against his profanity-sprouting tics from his Tourette's Syndrome, but in the film he's really trying to break free from other's stereotypical views of him and is also assisting his social-misfitting new friends likewise.

It was his mother’s final wish to see the sea once more. But now Vincent’s mother is dead. And he keeps her ashes in a candy tin under his bed. Vincent wants to fulfill this last wish for his mother. He is just waiting for an opportunity to run away from the home where he is stuck because of his Tourette-syndrome.

Together with anorexic Marie, compulsive Alexander and a car stolen from the home’s doctor, Dr. Rose, he embarks on the long drive to Italy, to the sea. His father and Dr. Rose are hot on their heels. This marks the start of a momentous adventure, at the end of which there is only one certainty: none of them will ever be quite the same again.

The core of the film's plot revolved about a getaway in a stolen car by 3 society misfits. One has Tourette's Syndrome, another's a sterile cleanliness freak, and the other an anorexic.

3 misfits, 1 car, 2 dreams.

This didn't seem to match up to a "road-trip journey to liberty" film where participants of the road-trip pretty much end up heading towards a singular destination. While the film had us thinking how the diversity of the 3 egos would be a disaster to place within the vicinity of a single car, gradually it smoothed out the rough edges bit by bit.

So why 2 dreams?

One of the three had misled the others into thinking that they all had similar thoughts of escaping from their imprisonment in the rehabilitation centre. This plot thread ended up causing some significant amount of displeasure within me, then realising how it disrupted the typical genre expectations of the audience. Looks like I was really seeking a happy ending like most others during this film's screening.

If you venture long enough with the film, you'd soon realise that the film didn't expect the audience to be treated to a serious case study of whatever illness or condition they were suffering from. It gradually deviated away from it, much in sync with the road trip.

The further they traveled, the further they were from the prejudiced society's captivity and the nearer they connected with the world out there.

Bonds grew thicker with every pit stop made at various locations, which allowed some mesmerising shots of the Bavarian mountains in the backdrop. But as expected, the plot thickened as the bond thickened. Matters became gradually complicated where it presented several opportunities for them to realise how much their difference could potentially make or break them.

Well, in a way the film was supposedly intended to allow the audience a window into the misfits' perspective of life. However, the symptoms and tics seemed to be exploited as entertaining comedic relief. I could be sensitive on this, but it's what I noticed. Despite so, the scenarios really took these distinctive personality "traits" to help foster the chemistry between the three characters. The chemistry couldn't have derived from their traits, but from the credible performance of all three cast.

So much effort went into the portrayal of Tourette's Syndrome that Florian David Fitz (who played Vincent) won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the German Film Awards 2011. Vincent Wants to Sea subsequently also achieved the Best Feature Film Award.

That said, nothing beats having to sit through a liberating road trip film with some interesting scenarios involving 3 misfits who're trying to fit into the world.


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