Thursday, December 30, 2010


Director: Nadia Tass
Year: 1986
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy

Colin Friels is Malcolm, a slow witted, painfully shy young man who has a talent for creating mechanical devices. He also has a great obsession with trams. Malcolm lives on his own in a quiet street in an outer suburb of Melbourne, Collingwood to be exact. When he becomes in need of financial assistance Malcolm decides to rent out a spare room in his house as to the advice of the local shop keeper. In no time at all Frank, (John Hargreaves) an ex convict and serial burglar moves in, followed soon after by his girlfriend Judy who works as a waitress. This is when Malcolm begins to come out of his shell and slowly begins to form a bond with Frank and Judy that then develops into a friendship. During this time Judy loses her job and decides to team up with Frank and Malcolm to embark on a career as bank robbers. With Frank’s naturally aggressive persona, Malcolm’s genius for mechanics and a ladies touch from Judy it proofs to be a perfect and unique match.

My Thoughts
When I was in year 8 we had to study this film as part of our English assessment. Our teacher could not have picked a better film, we watched it twice and then we had to write an essay on it. I was a shocking writer back then with little to no confidence but I still enjoyed analysing the film and listening to the teacher talk about it. It’s an absolute gem of an Australian film and one if my all time favourites.

The plot is intriguing from the very moment the film starts. Straight I wanted to know more and more about this peculiar man. It’s well paced with carefully balance moments of humour and drama and does not give anything away to quickly. The characters are well developed and how Malcolm is shown coming out of his shell and becoming more and more comfortable with his new tenants is well executed and quite humours at time.

Performances are wonderful all round. Colin Friels is just incredible as Malcolm; I cannot tell you how much I love this guy as an actor. The other night I was watching Tomorrow When the War Began. I hadn’t seen it before and to my complete and utter surprise, when I saw the man himself appear on screen I literally wanted to shout out, holy shit that’s Colin Friels! He’s crazy awesome!

The main musical theme to this film is simple, up beat and nice to sit back and to listen. In a way it kind of reflects the quirkiness tone this film has. There is one musical number that will be stuck in your head for days; you’ll when you hear it. I still find myself whistling it on occasion.

The outer Melbourne suburb provides a perfect setting for this type of film. It’s a working class area which works well in displaying the diverse rang of cultures and personalities. The famous Melbourne W Class Trams almost serve as another character.  

Malcolm is a charming comedy with a genuine expression of off beat Australia humour. I find myself watching it time and time against, for me it’s a timeless classic. 

No comments:

Post a Comment