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Foreign Comedy - Australia - The Rage In Placid Lake


The Rage In Placid Lake
Ben Lee, Rose Byrne, Miranda Richardson
Written and directed by Tony McNamara
Australia 2003
Film Movement 2006
89 minutes

There is nothing like a comedy from Australia. Absolutely nothing. These people are total nutters making films about other nutters. Often, as in The Rage In Placid Lake, the result is an original, off-kilter, unpredictable, funny but not quite comedy with a somewhat serious psychological side. This Film Movement DVD is not for everybody but if you like indie movies and art house films, you will probably enjoy this one.

Click for The Rage In Placid Lake trailer.

It would be easy to dismiss The Rage In Placid Lake as another nerd facing life after high school movie but that is its essence. It is what Placid Lake tries to leave and faces that makes this DVD from Australia. If being who you are is someone society hates perhaps being someone society likes is the answer. This is the conclusion Placid Lake comes to after a traumatic event. It may not be that easy however. His only friend, Gemma, is a crayon-eating genius. His parents, whom he must call Doug and Sylvia, are flower children who try to impose their lifestyle and view of life on their kid. The first time Placid Lake tried to play it straight laced he discovered it was against his nature. Will the second time, sporting the George Bush look and working for an insurance company do the trick or is the normal world even weirder?

The Rage In Placid Lake is not a laugh out loud gag based comedy. Nor is this quite a so quirky they are funny character comedy DVD. It really is its own creature, granted something that can be said about most movies from Australia, but is especially true in this case.

Like all other Film Movement DVDs, The Rage In Placid Lake comes with a short. At Dawning directed by Martin Jones is a UK film that won the 2002 Berlin Golden Bear for best short film. I am not a big fan of the short but this one, about a woman trying to surreptitiously leave a one night stand and being interrupted by a guy whose suicide attempt was halted by a tree, is really interesting.

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