“Dollhouse” Directed by Kirsten Sheridan

The invitation I received to this film included the following sentence.

“…an improvised film shot with no script where the actors did not know the plot until the moment of reveal on camera.”

Six friends (mostly working class) break into a house in a posh part of Dublin and proceed to have an alcohol and drug fuelled party. Throughout the night secrets come to light.

If this had been a docudrama about underprivileged twenty-somethings it would be a scary reflection of post Celtic Tiger Ireland.

Staying with the docudrama angle the improvised acting was excellent. The character’s feeble attempts at playing posh end up quickly lost with food fights, property defacement and the use of recreational drugs seemed as natural to them as breaking into the house in the first place.

The unintelligible conversations that go nowhere and on forever (reflecting the substances these characters are meant to be enjoying).

From the point of view of direction, lighting, stylish camera angles choices, the film looks and feels very professional.

But how can you talk about plot when there was no script?

Try as I may I did not not warm to any of the characters.  The surreal nature of the ‘story’ did not engage me in any way.  The working class Dubliners were embarrassingly stereotypical. While the two ‘posh’ characters seemed to be doing their best to sound working class. Not a dart accent in earshot.

At one stage two characters ask (I paraphrase) “Can we not have a conversation?”

This is the only quote that stood out to me. I realised that there was not one conversation which arrived at any conclusion.The ones which were started I could not follow or even sometimes even hear as the sound was muffled (and even absent) in places. If this erratic style was meant to reflect the surreal theme of the film it only served to speed up my waning interest.

Unfortunately, for me, this improvised experiment yielded negative results.

Or maybe I am getting old.

I do look forward to seeing a film from Sheridan that does begin with a script.

Dollhouse” opens in Ireland on December 7th 2012

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One response to ““Dollhouse” Directed by Kirsten Sheridan

  1. Antoinette Victory

    Filmed in Dalkey. Inexperienced actors. Strange concept.

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