Walking on Water Tony Ayres

Walking on Water Tony Ayres
To quote from the press release, "Walking on Water is a refreshingly unsentimental film about how people deal with loss and grief." If this sounds suspiciously like many films you have already seen, you're right. While "unsentimental" implies honest, here it equals dreary. Even the dancing and club scenes are blanketed by a pall of seriousness that gives the entire film the sameness of boredom. The intention is to replicate the disassociation that one experiences in grief, but the film suffers from a point of view that is demonstrative rather than absorbing. An honest account of a certain experience doesn't jar the audience if the script and direction don't provide a way in. Tony Ayres (director) and Roger Monk (writer) have attempted to give an authentic account of the story of Gavin, a man in his prime, dead of AIDS, the reactions to his death by his three close live-in friends, his visiting mother and brother, along with his wife and daughter. There is talent on all fronts, but never a spark of genius. Maria Theodorakis and Vince Colsimo, as the deceased's best friends, are fine but they play pretty unappealing characters. In fact the whole lot (mother, brother, etc.) are a very uptight and passive aggressive bunch. There is a sobbing woman at the funeral that's given a lot of focus. Everyone is on edge since she hardly knew Gavin. Is this comic relief? She irritated me, but more because the others were so devoid of levity that the writer felt compelled to bring in this hysterical stranger. There is a lot of imagery of water as one might expect. I wanted to construe the periodic clips of rolling waves as something other than a reference to the inexorability of life and death, but how? That's a little how I felt about the whole thing. Yes, it's true, but so? And why is it called Walking on Water? I think the entire cast of this film would sink like stones, they are all soooo heavy. (Mongrel Media)