Monday, May 28, 2012

Treacle Jr.

No one does slice-of-life drama and acerbic humor like the Brits, and the curiously named Treacle Jr. showcases this, as well as some damned good acting from the cast, particularly Aidan Gillen (Queer As Folk, Game Of Thrones) as Aidan. (It seems kind of cheap when the screenwriters can't come up with their own names; does anyone agree?)

    Treacle Jr., as it so happens, is a kitten, Aidan is a childlike man in an unhealthy relationship, and Tom (Tom Fisher) steps quite by accident into the situation, in the process of getting out of another. Unable to bear for another minute the responsibilities of parenthood and family life, Tom (Fisher) walks out on his wife and baby and, after running out of cash, seeks a new means of livelihood on the streets of London.

    Inexplicably, he is attacked and injured by a gang of thugs, and while at the police station, he meets Aidan, who is comparing the woman at the front desk's hair to an Irish Setter's in an attempt at flirtation.

    Aidan's the kind of guy most people stay away from. He's earnest, hyper, and completely free of any social graces. Aidan's naive and enthusiastic to a fault, but Tom soon discovers he has problems too, namely Linda (Riann Steele), his "girlfriend," a volatile bag of nuts who beats on Aidan, dubs him a "retard," and in one painful scene, tries to rape him.

   She's a barrel of laughs. People who find this situation unlikely need only think again. What does society think of men who hit women? If Aidan were to so much as take a swing at Linda in self-defense, she'd need only pull a pouty face to the police and Aidan would be sent up to the big house. Maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's something to think about.

    The story chronicles the meeting and eventual friendship between the two men, despite Tom's initial urgent attempts to get away from Aidan, who has the boundless enthusiasm of a horny beagle. Now Aidan, he's an interesting character. Devoid of the marketability of endearing innocents like Forrest Gump, he is good-hearted but entirely oblivious to his effect on people. He was not written to be liked. I liked him.

   If this was to be remade in America, there would be some adjustments made. Linda's race would be changed, the gender roles would be switched, and the movie would become a feminist power flick. But it will not be remade because it was not highly successful, and it's a good thing, too. Treacle Jr. intrigues and challenges, doing what British films do best.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts -- reader comments make this blogging gig worthwhile. :-) Due to excessive spam, we are now moderating all comments. Like that dude in the Monty Python skit, we just Don't ... Like ... Spam. I will try to post and respond to your comments as quickly as possibly.