Sleeping Dogs

   17 April 2007, terribly early in the morning

Dave, Patrick and I watched Sleeping Dogs on Sunday night at the Royal, an independent cinema in Toronto. One of Dave’s co-workers was involved with the film, which is how we all heard about it. The film was written and directed by Terrance Odette, who I think has done a nice job with this film. Brian Stillar in the lead role was great. The plot follows Stillar, a blind diabetic alcoholic, as he escapes from a rehab clinic in search of his dog, whom his brother has taken to the pound to have put down; a nurse at the clinic tracks him down, and wanders the streets of Kitchener-Waterloo with him, as they make their way to the pound. It’s a film is about isolation; everyone in the film is alone in the world, more or less. (There is a scene near the start of the film which I thought was clumsily edited: Stillar and his brother are talking, but it is cut together such that it looks like the director spliced two distinct conversations together. Of course, it is possible I’m just reading too much into bad editing.) The film is very slow moving: the plot is light, and a lot of scenes play out without dialog. At times this works, and at times it is tedious. The soundtrack is incredibly annoying — shrill and piercing “twangy shit”. (I suspect this was done on purpose, as a character in the film talks about how annoying twangy country music is, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.) The film is marred at times by how low budget it is. At times the sound is atrocious, and it takes away from the movie. The actors in the film vary in skill from great to not so good, and the interaction between bad actors and good ones is painful to watch on the screen. (I thought all the leads were quite good mind you.) Nevertheless, it’s well worth watching — we must support our Canadian talent when we can.

The official Sleeping Dogs web site.

 

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