Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise Danny Boyle

From all appearances, this DVD release is intended to cash in on Danny Boyle's recent Oscar sweep for Slumdog Millionaire. Vacuuming was originally released to North Americans on DVD back in 2004, three years after it originally aired on the BBC. By 2001, Boyle had released A Life Less Ordinary and The Beach, both duds. Perhaps Vacuuming was a way for Boyle to experiment and recharge his creative battery. The film is shot Dogme style, with frantic hand-held video that is unapologetically grainy and shaky. Vacuuming crackles with energy as it tells the tale of Pete (Michael Begley), an out-of-luck DJ who becomes a door-to-door vacuum salesman under the guidance of Tommy Rag (Timothy Spall), a loud, obnoxious and pudgy veteran of the vacs. This is an odd couple comedy that inspires grins rather than belly laughs. Spall is so over-the-top manic and loud that his performance is impressive at first but grows tedious. What else is there to Tommy Rag besides his motor mouth and insane driving? Begley plays Pete as a down-to-earth, nice guy but his character also needs fleshing out. His stripper girlfriend and an eccentric elderly neighbour help to enhance his character but he remains overshadowed by Spall and gets lost whenever they share the screen. A subplot about the internet taking over the door-to-door industry could've been beefed up to add some intrigue. Despite those shortcomings, there's enough to recommend Vacuum to Boyle fans and the curious — there are some good laughs and the pacing never slackens. The best thing about this film is Boyle's use of video, which he undoubtedly carried over to his next film, 28 Days Later. The DVD package however adds little, just a photo gallery. (Koch)