Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Happy-Go-Lucky Review

You know things in life aren't going well when you are continually followed by the really sad version of 'Christmas time is here' from the A Charlie Brown Christmas. Its also safe to say life has gone a little titty fucking up when you're holding back tears for fallen peeps in The Wire. But if you find yourself being cheered up by a Mike Leigh film, well, throw in the towel my friend because a trip to beachy head is your only solution. That or go asphyxi wank style but this option can be upsetting for the family memebers left behind.

Poppy is a primary school teacher who not only views the glass as half full but also brightly coloured, adorned with flourescent glitter and holding in it the Elixir of life itself. In other words she's an optimist. The film is a window into Poppys worldview as time and time again her optimism is challenged when she meets angry driving instructors, emotional Flamenco dancers, crazy tramps and a potential love interest in Social worker Tim.

Set in a London not often seen (for its through the eyes of Poppy and not gibbering Daily Mail readers or Terror news items) Happy-Go-Lucky is a film about nothing and everything. Nothing, as in there is no classical narrative thread, and everything, in that there is no finer goal in life than to be happy. As Poppy keeps herself entertained, and those around her, there is a certain dread as to what may shake her enthusiasm.

Relative newcomer Sally Hawkins is an absolute joy as Poppy, complete with filthy laugh and a carefree manner that I doubt you can act if you don't already have it. Workaholic Eddie Marsan is also on good form as the rage and saliva spitting driving instructor, even if at times his polar opposite to Sally is a little too polar, i.e think puppy hugging lovely person versus hate filled kitten drowner. So when life in all its unpleasantries is getting you down have a little think about Poppy, cancel the trip to beachy head and untie the noose from above the streams of porn you've laid out. More Poppies please.

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