Published Oct 22, 2009On the day before being sent to back to combat, three Naval officers have a day of shore leave in the big city. They immediately break into song: "New York, New York! A wonderful town! The Bronx is up and the Battery's down!" Oh, actually, rechecking my notes I see that I have confused Three Blind Mice, from writer/director/star Matthew Newton, with a different Naval shore leave movie ― quite different, actually.
This time, our three heroes are enjoying ― if that's the word I'm looking for ― a night on the town in Sydney, Australia. Resident cocky loudmouth Harry (Newton), quiet Sam (Ewan Leslie) and awkward Dean (Toby Schmitz) hope to celebrate but Sam is somewhat less-than-enthralled by Harry's plan to hire prostitutes, and breaks free of the group to pick up a sweet waitress named Emma (Gracie Otto). The night goes on, with several encounters with strangers that don't always go well, and a dinner between Dean, his fiancée and her parents that isn't an unqualified success.
Surprising revelations are made, confrontations are sparked, characters grow, and plenty of alcohol is consumed. But while I suppose the film has a plot, it has better things to do than pay much attention to it. Instead, Newton meanders freely, not hesitating to stop on a particular conversation that strikes his fancy, generally giving the film an unpolished immediacy.
Long scenes of dialogue dominate Three Blind Mice, and that's what I liked best about this movie. It's refreshing to hear movie characters be witty and eloquent in their speech, and surprising to see a cast that know how to pull it off with a sense of naturalism.
Particularly good is a scene where Sam lays on the grass with Emma, debating whether or not to kiss her ― imagine a truly uncomfortable dating moment but with characters clever enough to defuse the awkwardness. (Kinosmith)