Sunday, 30 December 2012

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything is the directorial debut of former Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills and is based on Bruce Robinson's novella Paranoia In The Laundrette, one of the most funniest books I have ever read. It's also safe to say I am a HUGE fan of Robinson. If you didn't already know it.

Which makes the failure of this film so heartbreaking.

Don't get me wrong, I think this film is a very clever, amusing and wonderfully visual feature that is rather unique (albeit with bits of Bunny and The Bull and After Hours in there) but it takes the slim and perfect substance of the novella and stretches it out in a rather poor fashion that makes it quite dull.

The germ of the novella is still there, indeed the dialogue itself is still there, and these are the film's funniest scenes. But in tacking on an actual 'threat' to the writer's paranoia in the film's last act, along with exploring his psychosis (the novella is simply just about one man's complete inability to function socially with everyday mundane tasks - there were no deeper meanings!) the film loses the original context and crux of the humour and becomes a little boring and generic.

I'm a fan of Pegg and I think he equips himself very well here - especially in one of the film's original creations, his love for gangster rap, a typical Pegg-ism because it's always funny to see a pasty white Englishman insuluted fully in his dufflecoat pretend he's straight outta Compton - but Robinson's voice is a very distinctive one and not every actor can master the perfect cadences his dialogue demands. Richard E Grant in Withnail is the ultimate example of getting it right, Pegg's voice, his grasp of the tonality and atmosphere isn't always as assured. There's something lacking, making it just another Pegg character in just another misfiring albeit interesting British comedy film.

Oh but it was good to see Robinson's old flatmate and friend Michael Feast as a sinister waiter.

My advice though, read the book!

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