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Walking on water - Vince Colosimo, Maria Theodorakis, David Bonney, Tony Ayres

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Good friends, bad behaviour.

Charlie (Vince Colosimo) and Anna (Maria Theodorakis) are Gavin's (David Bonney) two best friends. They made a pact to assist the terminally ill Gavin to die when the time came. However, despite a massive overdose of morphine, Gavin stays alive. Charlie ends up slipping a plastic bag over Gavin's head and suffocating him. This is hardly the dignified death that they had all planned. But it's the beginning of an emotional roller coaster ride, which takes Charlie and Anna through the highs and lows of the grief experience - from illicit affairs and left over morphine to devastating accusations and unwitting betrayals. At the end of the day, Charlie and Anna are forced to face the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and love.

Persons of interest

  • Vince Colosimo .... Charlie
  • Maria Theodorakis .... Anna
  • David Bonney .... Gavin
  • Judi Farr .... Margaret
  • Nicholas Bishop .... Frank
  • Anna Lise Phillips .... Kate
  • Nathaniel Dean .... Simon
  • Daniel Roberts .... Carl
  • Roger Monk .... Screenwriter
  • Tony Ayres .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I will get this gripe out of the way first: in the age of CGI no professionally made film has an excuse for allowing the boom microphone to be seen. For those not involved in the industry, the boom mic is the microphone on the long pole (boom) that you see someone dangling over the heads of the actors. It is noticeable on screen as a black finger of doom pointing down at the actor's head. Normally a director and editor will write off any shot like that but Tony Ayres and Reva Childs must've decided that the acting was too good to drop it on the cutting room floor. So why didn't they get another $10,000 to make the film look professional? Only they can answer that. Minus 20 points.

The rest of Walking on water, however, is brilliant. As an argument for and against the legalisation of euthanasia both sides are presented succinctly yet without beating you over the head. As a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of love it is poignant to the point of tears. I have always been a big softie for three-tissue movies and had a ball balling my eyes out over this one. Not that it's Beaches 2 or anything, it's just that Walking on water pulls no punches. Life in the movie is as complex as life in real life. Shit happens. Life sux. When it rains, it pours. Every cloud has a silver lining. Every silver lining has a cloud.

As a film about the joys of share housing Walking on water buries what should have been one of the greatest films in the world: He died with a felafel in his hand. Here, the characters are as flawed and human as a character can be and not come from Melrose Place. They do things that are insane to look back on but seemed perfectly sensible at the time. They are hilariously messed-up without ever being a send-up.

And as for grief, well, you get to see almost every possible reaction to it that you can think of: weeping, wailing, misery, denial, concupiscence, submergence, guilt... the only thing missing is happiness because no-one wanted Gavin to die even though they all killed him. Contradiction makes for an interesting story.

See Walking on water and see a touch of Aussie urban living. It's the human stuff that'll get you.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Adult themes, drug use, medium level sex scenes)

Surveillance time

90 minutes (1:30 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated March 2002 - Adelaide Festival
Film: 19 September 2002 - National
DVD retail: 20 August 2003

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