Esther McCarthy reviews "Animals" and "Blinded By the Light"
Animals (16) ***
WOMEN GO WILD in Animals, a comedy drama about two best friends who sleep, snort and drink their way around the Irish capital.
Close friends and flatmates Tyler (Arrested Development actress Shawkat) and Laura (British star Grainger) may be on the cusp of turning thirty, but they haven’t a notion of slowing down on the party front.
These ladies are wild even by twentysomething standards, spending their mornings sleeping off the excesses of the previous night before gearing up for another night out with the help of pills and booze.
The two women are inseparable, living and clubbing together, and even guys don’t get in the way of their friendship. Until one does.
Adapted by Emma Jane Unsworth from her own novel, Animals moves that original story from Manchester to Dublin under the direction of Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde.
It is funny and interesting and often outrageous, but there are some notes about Animals that don’t ring true - there are gaps in the story, while some of the dialogue feels very contrived.
Blinded by the Light
GROWING THROUGH teenage angst, suffering racism and struggling with a domineering father in 1980s Luton, Javed is feeling lost and disenchanted. Then he discovers Bruce Springsteen.
The latest film from Guninder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) returns to the Asian community in Britain of many of her previous films.
It has a paper-thin plot and some set sequences that border on the cheesy. But it is charming and heartfelt and really makes you care about the fate of its characters.
Viveik Kalra is Javed, a young man navigating growing pains, racism and the expectations of his Pakistani-immigrant family in bleak 1980s Luton.
He dreams of one day becoming a writer or journalist, a hope he daren’t reveal to his imposing, traditionalist father (a very good Kulvinder Ghir).
He’s struggling to find both his own voice and a voice that speaks to him, until one day he first hears the music of Bruce Springsteen. In songs from The Boss such as The Promised Land and Born to Run, Javed finds the courage to pursue his ambitions, which could cause huge conflict within his family and community. A sweet jukebox musical.