Sunday, 24 February 2008

GFF Review: Special People – by Joseph Wren

Director: Justin Edgar
Screenwriter: Justin Edgar
Running Time: 78 mins

Going into a film called Special People, about a trio of wheelchair-bound teenagers in London trying to make a film, one might get the impression that they’re in for a weep-tastic tale of the triumph of the will over monumental adversity. Luckily, that’s not the case, and the film’s title proves more apt as sarcasm than sentiment.

A failed yet pretentious “director” named Jasper has apparently come to terms with his lack of talent, but once inspired by one of his wheelchair-bound students testimonials about the “everyday uphill struggle” of being disabled, Jasper sees opportunity to co-opt her tale into an inspirational film in a desperate effort to finally make his cinematic masterpiece. What follows are a collection of awkwardly hilarious episodes reminiscent of the comedy of Ricky Gervais or Larry David. When the student film’s crippled star sustains a leg injury, Jasper replies “well to be honest, she doesn’t really use it much anyway”. It’s the bad taste that gets the laughs, and Justin Edgar has a definite flair for writing such sarcastic dialogue. However, his attempts at serious human drama are poorly presented, and the characters one-dimensional. While certainly funny, the film lacks cinematic quality, and its specific brand of humour is best suited for the small screen.

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