Thursday, 26 July 2018

Mandy: NZIFF Review

Mandy: NZIFF Review


Placing the psycho among the psychotropic, Panos Cosmatos' Mandy is a curious beast, likely to satiate an Incredibly Strange audience, but unlikely to burst out of its cult bubble.

Starting with Nic Cage in full lumberjack mode felling a tree (not a euphemism), Cosmatos's under siege piece takes its 80s vibe and fully runs with it.

Cage is Red, who lives with Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) in a remote cabin. Their dream existence is granted a rude awakening when the Children of the New Dawn pass Mandy on a path one day, determining that she should be with them.
Mandy: NZIFF Review

Their leader (Linus Roach, in full messianic mode) orders his followers to steal her away - needless to say Red ain't having that.

It's a case of 80s style over substance with Mandy, which is no bad thing if that's what you're looking for. Drenched in a Johann Johannsson score, the film's atmospherics hit every level they're intending to, but it's a case of genre style ahead of anything else in effect here.

Cosmatos makes his piece a masterclass in lighting, soaking many scenes in red and backlighting the fight scenes with spotlights - it's a visual lunacy that's worth embracing.

Mandy may drag a little in parts, a fever dream that's extended beyond need, but Cage's fans will be happy to see their hero, in his tighty-whiteys, doing what he does best - chewing up the scenery (and doing a large amount of cocaine at the end of one scene).

Mandy fulfills its exploitation vibe well, but beyond the deaths and gore it proffers up, it offers little more.

However, if it's perfect for the Incredibly Strange section, and will serve a Timpson-fuelled Hollywood Theatre audience expertly well.

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