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Bondi Tsunami (2004)

  Directed by: Rachael Lucas
Starring: Keita Abe, Taki Abe, Nobuhisa Ikeda, Miki Sasaki
Links: Bondi Tsunami on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Musical

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Seemed like a good idea at the time" - a review by pearly

When I took a special trip out to the 'burbs to see Bondi Tsunami, the real-life tsunami had not yet taken place. However, some two days later, on the 26th of December 2004, there it was, all over the news. It made me think (among many other more serious thoughts) of what director and brainchild Rachael Lucas must be thinking, being only halfway through her nationwide tour publicising her film with the now fairly inappropriate name.

But back on Christmas Eve, as I was settled back in my comfortable Cinema Europa chair, listening to Lucas speak for way too long whilst introducing the film, this was the furthest thing from my mind. Reflecting on the title of the film, it was obvious that it was just a convenient way of describing the film's story: that of three or four Japanese young folk on a whirlwind road trip across the Eastern coast of Australia. The title fits.

As Lucas explained in her lengthy introduction, the film does have a narrative, but it is not necessarily meant to be watched from start to finish. There is no real plot, and she wanted to structure it in such a way that you could dip in and out of it, and still make sense of what was happening. The events and the whole style and design of the thing are meant to be hyperreal, and it's almost like one big music video.

I could see this in Bondi Tsunami, but I don't think Lucas achieved her goal 100%. One area which for the most part was a success, was the soundtrack. Most of the music is specially written for the film, and it is the songs that are not which fail to impress. One song in particular, which is quite well known, is kind of a let-down in amongst the other songs which are fresh to your ears and make the film seem more unique and just outside of reality.

As for the visuals, while I realise that this film was completed with only a very limited budget, some of the graininess of the shots and the lack of bursting, exploding colour left something to be desired. It was almost as if Lucas was aiming for a huge assault to the senses, but couldn't quite get there with what she had available. A shame.

And lastly, the actors. Each of the four main members of the cast were just people Lucas managed to find on the street (i.e. none of them have acted before). The character of Gunja Man (Nobuhisa Ikeda) I just didn't get, and I would have preferred he wasn't even in the film. I really liked Shark (Taki Abe), he was the cool, calm, and collected Japanese guy and portrayed this with quite a high degree of realism, but Yuto (Keita Abe), his sidekick who is just that; a crazed over-the-top sidekick character; was a little much at times, and didn't quite pull it off. Conversely, Miki Sasaki, who played Kimiko, was fabulous as the lover of all things kawaii (particularly stuffed animals), as well as the wearer of much colourful and impractical fashion. My favourite character by far.

With Bondi Tsunami, I could see what Lucas was trying to do, but I wasn't 100% convinced. I felt that she got maybe two thirds of the way there. With a straight start to finish viewing, my attention began to wander a little in a few parts - it could definitely have been punchier.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 10 Jan 2005

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Number of reviews: 1
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Reader comments

  1. cool movie for when youre too busy to watch a movie

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Benjie on Fri 16 Sep 2005 19:28 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.00 (1 rating)

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