Monday, September 12, 2005

Little Fish

After work I came home then went out again to see a movie called Little Fish.
In the movie, Tracey (Cate Blanchett) has been working at a video store in Cabramatta (south-west Sydney suburb that got a bad reputation for being an easy place to score smack) for the last four years. She used to be a junkie but has been clean for these four years, and living with her mother Janelle (Noni Hazelhurst). Now she wants to get a loan to open an internet gaming joint as part of her boss's video store, but one problem is she got busted for credit card fraud when she was a junkie.
Next thing you know, her ex-boyfriend Jonny (Dustin Nguyen) comes back from Canada and says he is a stockbroker now. Four years ago when he and Tracey were together he was a drug dealer and smashed the car he was driving, Tracey's brother Ray (Martin Henderson) was in it and Ray lost a leg from the knee down.
Then, Lionel (Hugo Weaving) comes back on the scene. He was a friend of the family, or Janelle's boyfriend or something, but he was the one who introduced Tracey to smack. Lionel was a big football star but got hooked up on the smacky wacky, and he's still messed up on it. Lionel's got some kind of deal going with Bradley "The Jockey" Thompson (Sam Neill) who has been supplying his smack for free, which I didn't understand. Why was he getting it free? [Note: Next morning. I think I figured this part out - he was his gay lover from the old football times and supplied him with free heroin in exchange for sex. Yes that must be it. If you have seen it let me know if you agree.] Anyway, now Bradley says he's retiring so he can't give Lionel any more gear, but Lionel says no sweat, it will give him a chance to get off it now. Right. Sure thing. The way he says it you know it's not gonna happen.
Gee, it's still not easy to watch smacko wacko scenes. Just a taste. Just one. Would that be so bad?
Anyway. So you see it's mostly about Tracey and her epic struggle to get her life together when these people from the past come back. No, you can never escape your past is the point here. You can run but you can't hide and all that jazz. It always comes back, sooner or later, that rotten old past, and you have to deal with it.
It's hard not to compare Cate Blanchett's character with her character in Lord of the Rings; they're about as opposite as you can get. What a transformation. She's awesome.
Also totally awesome is Hugo Weaving, his performance is stunning. He's the most believable *movie junkie* I've seen since David Wenham in Gettin' Square, but where David Wenham's character was for laughs, Hugo Weaving is a great and tragic character, a man beset by demons. It's impossible to not like him, and you'll hope like hell he gets through it even though you can't imagine it. He really seems doomed. It's enormously moving.
Well, here's a movie that I can't make any smartarse comments about. It's too close to home and all that jazz. I won't even make any remarks about the decision to have a children's choir singing Cold Chisels' 'Flame Trees' (twice!). It's considered an *Aussie classic*, after all. But aside from that, the movie was excellent, and I can recommend it. Plus you get to see some of my beloved city of Sydney, in particular a scene where Tracey is walking around about to meet Jonny, right near Chinatown, outside Market City which is where I go for lunch every day.
Yes, there you have it, another excellent reason to watch this movie: to see some intersection near Chinatown next to the big mall thingo where Stratu has his lunch five days a week.

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