Monday, 8 March 2010
DVD REVIEW: BLESSED
Icon Home Entertainment
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray
The mother-child bond – sometimes loving, sometimes fractious – is the central theme of this turgid Australian drama from director Ana Kokkinos, structured in the multi-narrative, inter-locking style that has become popular this past decade, most notably in films such as 21 Grams, Crash and Babel.
Blessed is not as good as any of those films though it gives them a good run for their money in the emotional anguish stakes, or at least it attempts to. I was unmoved by Kokkinos's depiction of lost, abandoned and neglected children and their lost, preoccupied or neglectful mothers whose storylines are played out over a single day in Melbourne.
This is a feel bad movie with the only ray of hope coming with the realisation that you're not these people. Viewers certainly aren't expected to identify with the characters and why would they? Lower working class at best, these people are on the fringes of society and I for one couldn't help but be riled by the implied 'look how the other half live' approach.
But then again, most Australian critics loved it and with a cast that includes Debra-Lee Furness, Frances O'Connor and Miranda Otto, I'm sure there will be much appeal for those who didn't catch it at the cinema. As a film, I was unimpressed with Blessed but with its depressing view of parenthood, it should work wonders as a contraceptive.