Theatre

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - DS DS DS Mur­ray Bramwell

Kelly Re­ichardt’s Women con­sists of three short sto­ries by writer Maile Meloy. In the first, Laura Dern plays Laura, a lawyer whose an­gry male client (Jared Har­ris) won’t ac­cept her ad­vice. Next, Gina (Michelle Wil­liams) and her hus­band, Ryan (James Le Gros), who — as we saw in the first story — is hav­ing an af­fair with Laura, de­cide to build a week­ender close to the home of an el­derly recluse (Rene Au­ber­jonois). The third story fea­tures Lily Glad­stone as Jamie, a lonely girl who runs a horse farm en­tirely on her own. She be­comes at­tracted to Beth (Kris­ten Ste­wart), who teaches a class on stu­dent rights at a nearby adult ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre.

Berlin Syn­drome (MA15+) Clara (Teresa Palmer) meets the friendly Andi (Max Riemelt), an English teacher, and, after some hes­i­ta­tion, ac­com­pa­nies him to his apart­ment for sex. But next morn­ing, when he goes to work, she finds her­self locked in. She thinks it was a mis­take, but it wasn’t. Max proves to be, for rea­sons not ad­e­quately ex­plained, de­ter­mined to keep her a pris­oner. This is hardly a new plot but di­rec­tor Cate Short­land, work­ing from a book by Melanie Joosten, han­dles the es­tab­lish­ing scenes pretty well. Berlin Syn­drome’s ba­sic theme, of a con­trol­ling man seek­ing dom­i­nance over a woman, is al­ways a hot topic. Un­for­tu­nately, at about the mid­way point the film loses steam and then drags on. As a re­sult, the es­sen­tial ten­sion is dis­si­pated and sub­plots add lit­tle to the drama.

Raw (R18+) A shy, vir­ginal veg­e­tar­ian (Garance Mar­il­lier) is trans­formed into a flesh-eat­ing nym­pho zom­bie dur­ing her stay at a res­i­den­tial vet­eri­nar­ian col­lege in this lu­di­crous and child­ishly provoca­tive so-called thriller. Some may claim the film is about a young woman dis­cov­er­ing her­self, but the writer-di­rec­tor’s ob­vi­ous de­light in shock for shock’s sake con­sti­tutes a ma­jor turn-off, no mat­ter how ef­fi­ciently made or well acted the film may be.

The Pop­u­lar Me­chan­i­cals The pop­u­lar me­chan­i­cals are the six ar­ti­sans who give a daffy royal com­mand per­for­mance for the wed­ding of Th­e­seus and Hip­polyta in A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream. Charles Mayer (be­low right, with Tim Over­ton) as Bot­tom is an in­ter­est­ingly re­strained ver­sion of Shake­speare’s en­thu­si­as­tic ego­ist. As Ralph Mowldie, Bot­tom’s celebrity re­place­ment, Mayer is ex­trav­a­gantly histri­onic, with a vel­vet cloak con­ceal­ing his stash of wine casks.There are Bot­tom jokes, poo jokes, gig­gles and japes. The Pop­u­lar Me­chan­i­cals cap­tures the bawdy spirit of the El­iz­a­bethan en­ter­tain­ments and skits known as jigs. But in its faith­ful de­pic­tion of the ca­ma­raderie be­tween the ar­ti­sans, the splen­did stag­ing of Pyra­mus and Thisbe, and in high­light­ing the para­dox­i­cal po­etry of Bot­tom’s dream, this durable play (and plea­sur­able new pro­duc­tion) re­minds us that, from hum­ble ori­gins, th­ese char­ac­ters can emerge glo­ri­ous and tri­umphant. Wharf 2 Theatre, The Wharf, 4 Hick­son Road, Syd­ney. Today, 2.15pm and 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $44$55. Book­ings: (02) 9250 1777. Big Fish Big Fish is based on Daniel Wal­lace’s 1998 novel and Tim Bur­ton’s 2003 film of the same name. Di­rec­tor Ty­ron Parke’s indie pro­duc­tion stars Phillip Lowe as trav­el­ling sales­man Ed­ward Bloom, whose tall sto­ries have kept his friends and fam­ily en­ter­tained for years un­til his son starts to search for the truth be­hind them. The pro­duc­tion also fea­tures Adam Ren­nie, Kirby Burgess and Ka­t­rina Re­tal­lick. Hayes Theatre, 19 Green­knowe Av­enue, Syd­ney. Today, 2pm and 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $59. Book­ings: (02) 8065 7337. Un­til May 14. Guru of Chai

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