Title: Burning Man
Directed by: Jonathan Teplitzky
Starring: Matthew Goode, Bojana Novakovic, Rachel Griffiths, Kerry Fox, Jack Heanly
Running time: 110 minutes, Not Rated
Special Features: Cast & Crew Interviews, Behind the Scenes & Trailer
Tom is a head chef in a Bondi Beach restaurant who is going through some hard times, all told in non-linear storytelling as he gets into a horrible car crash. His wife is dying of cancer, he copes with his emotions with violent outbursts and numerous sex partners and all the while learning to be a better father to his 8 year old son.
This film to me is what the movie Shame could have done to redeem itself in my eyes. Tom is an arrogant asshole chef, but you forgive him for his violence and debauchery because the one love of his life is gone. You feel sorry for him and his son because they have to learn together how to deal with grief.
I’m not a real fan of non-linear storytelling. Some of the scenes were totally lost on me, and with a somewhat orgy of characters, I couldn’t figure out who was who until towards the end. I wasn’t sure of Rachel Griffiths character, although I wished they went another way with her because she’s just so lovely. They reveal that even after her and Tom’s awkward meeting, they still slept together and he couldn’t see her as a therapist to deal out his mourning; to me, that part could’ve been left out. Tom sleeps with many women to help him avoid having to face his life without his wife; all the while he’s thinking about his wife while he’s with these women.
Some described this as a romantic tear-jerker. I didn’t really feel it, but the acting was well done by all nonetheless. I thought the cooking scenes were hilarious and I especially liked the scene where he creatively gets revenge on a customer. Because of the amount of sex and nudity, I wouldn’t call this a good first date movie; unless you’re both into that.
Reviewed by: JM Willis
Total rating: B