Friday, 15 March 2013

Film Review: The Paperboy (2012)

Director: Lee Daniels
Writer: Lee Daniels
Stars: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, David Oyelowo and Nicole Kidman

Simply put The Paperboy is a complete mess of a film, wasting a great cast. The film is all over the place in terms of story, narrative, and character motivation and rapidly falls apart, outstaying its welcome long before even the halfway mark.

Director Lee Daniels is too concerned with making the film look ‘period’ to match its 1969 setting with, admittedly, a great range of colours and tones and hoping source music will fill the gaps in tension or atmosphere where his direction is lacking to make the film remotely engaging. The Paperboy just doesn’t know what it wants to be and as the audience, this soon becomes frustratingly apparent.

The screenplay tries to be exploitative and shocking with scenes of S&M, sodomy, rough sex, and the now-infamous scene where Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron after he’s stung by jellyfish. These scenes are not shocking, just laughably ridiculous and only add to the contempt one feels for the camp nonsense which unfolds. The Paperboy wants us to laugh with it, but laughing at it is the only result.

Stop thinking for yourself verdict: The film isn’t a total write-off thanks to an excellent performance from Nicole Kidman who does her best with the crazy script and a genuinely great score by Mario Grigorov who channels the late 60s/early 70s setting with music which deserves a much better film to be showcased. Aside from this, there is precious little reason why anyone should watch this film.

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