THE VAN
DIRECTOR:                 STEPHEN FREARS
COUNTRY: ENGLAND 1996
CINEMATOGRAPHY: OLIVER STAPLETON
MUSIC:                        ERIC CLAPTON, RICHARD HARTLEY
CAST:                          Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly, Stuart Dunne, Jack Lynch, Caroline Rothwell, Ger Ryan
SUPER FEATURES:    The character interplay.

As far as this being a great film, I don't know about that. As far as this being a great fun romp for any evening, well, that's another story.

Stephen Frears has been known for one thing in his major three films, this one included. A certain allowance for the actors to develop their characters, and have fun with them. This film is no different, and even takes that a bit further.... but for the rest of the world, the price we pay for this, is that we REALLY could use subtitles... well, not really, when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter, since we know more or less what two friends are saying at any time anyway, and despite us not understanding a word or two in each sentence, it doesn't matter... we still like the blokes any way you look at it. But it gets a bit frustrating, sitting there in the theatre wondering what they said.

Aside from that, this is a fast moving, emotional romp of a film, that won't quit on you until the end, when the characters finally realize what is more important. And by that time, we have had so much anyway, that it's alright for the film not to end on a laugh, although it does end on a rather different from what one would expect style.

It is, basically, the story of two friends, Bimbo and Larry, who have been unemployed for a while and have been getting bored. All is fine, until one day, another friend, finds them a steal, so they all think. There is a van, and they decide that selling chips and what not at various locations is a great idea. But they don't know what it takes to take care of customers, or people in general. It doesn't matter, because if they did we wouldn't have a comedy. The adventure starts out rather slowly, and takes off rather well, with the exception that it begins taxing the relationship that the two friends have. Larry has a decided lack of tact and a shooting mouth to match when dealing with people of all kinds, and he is not about to change it for anyone's sake.

And the bits keep us going until the end when Larry is getting out of hand, and Bimbo decided to take it upon his hands to end it. It happens to coincide with a health inspector checking the van, and finding it a not so healthy place to create food goods for anyone. Here, it is clear that Larry doesn't care, and that Bimbo might be looking at the options. And afterwards, we know that it's over, the question is how.

While THE VAN is not one of those films that will tear up the art houses, it is one of those films that takes you for a laughing roller coaster from minute to minute, not to mention the rapier tongues flying around the whole film, which in of itself, makes for another fun film. And this is what makes this film fun to watch, with some exceptional character interplay between the two.

Without further ado, this film is worth seeing. But you better perk your ears up, because half of this film will be lost in the translation. Still, it is fun, because of the wry sense of humor.

4 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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