A whacky and sincere story about psychopathic lovers taking to the road. Sightseers is a devilishly atmospheric and intensely sociopathic black comedy. Directed by Ben Wheatley who appeased the Toronto International Film Festival faithful with Sightseers this past year and with his previous film Kill List in 2011. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into when I purchased my ticket for Sightseers at TIFF, but I had heard good things regarding Kill List so I approached Sightseers with cautious optimism, and I was rewarded. Sightseers is as cruel as it is unique when it comes to its two loveable murderers and provides huge laughs that strain your entire body. Starring and written by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram. Sightseers morbid sense of humour and lackadaisical attitude towards its victims is vitally refreshing and breathtakingly hilarious.
Chris (Oram) is dying to take Tina (Lowe) on a vacation travelling around in his caravan. When the plans are finally set, the two take to the road. As they visit several odd destinations, Tina begins to see a darker side of Chris. He gets very distracted and angry at the slightest annoyance and tends to overreact. As they continue on their journey, Tina learns of Chris’s terrible secret. Committing despicable acts as they continue on their journey, Chris and Tina begin to frustrate one another.
Sightseers is one of a kind. I can’t really compare it to another film and do It justice. Its approach is unconventional and its comedy is not for everyone. It shares the most similarities with recent Quentin Tarantino films. There is shared DNA in the way Tarantino and Wheatley and crew distinguish their violence with comedy. They both fixate on the marrow of their stories even though Sightseers isn’t as elaborate or complex.
Wheatley seems to have perfected his craft with Sightseers. His brilliant camerawork showcasing the outstanding vastness of the terrain and dizzying heights of the sky are immaculate. But he hasn’t forgotten what has gotten him here in the first place. The gruesome detail in the savagery and care meshed into the barbarity is incredible. However effective Wheatley is able to conduct his settings and cast is incomparable to Oram and Lowe’s script which drives the film. I have the utmost level of appreciation and respect regarding the script. The emergence of Lowe’s character’s subtle, passive realization of Oram’s bloodthirsty rage and her quick acceptance and accompaniment is laughable and sweet.
As for performances, Oram and Lowe are at the centre of the film for the majority. Lowe fits her role brilliantly. She performs her characters shy, passive aggressiveness faultlessly and that compliments the reluctancy exploding from her in regards to the foulness throughout Sightseers. As for Steve Oram, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard with such a thorough performance. Just so there is no confusion, I mean that in the best way possible. Every movement, every disgusted grunt, Oram delivers the psychotic goods.
Just missing out on our top 10 list for the films released in 2012. Sightseers is a must see for those looking for some terrific visuals and a laugh while they’re being grossed out.
Sightseers: 8 out of 10.
Don’t forget guys to check out this weeks past top 10 and contribute to blogger talk which was posted yesterday, cheers!