Terry McMahon’s new film Charlie Casanova is one long juvenile, misogynistic rant with allusions of grandeur making The Guard seem like Citizen Kane.
It tells the story of Charlie (Emmett Scanlan) who goes through life letting a deck of cards decide his fate like a modern day Dice Man. Having knocked down a girl and used the cards to absolve him of responsibility, he then goes about giving his friends complete unsavoury and ridiculous tasks based on the turn of a card. In between his lengthy pontifications we see each couple carry out their act and try and wrestle with the perceived complexities of each dilemma.
Affairs, murder and letting a dog lick peanut butter from your vagina are just some of cutting edge, original, thinking outside the box ideas that McMahon has devised to blow your tiny little mind. Grow up. You may have seen American Psycho or Naked and McMahon probably hopes you haven’t as you realise within ten seconds the unoriginality of his script and what he is trying to achieve has already been accomplished so much better.
The acting is atrocious, hammy over-acting doesn’t even begin to describe Emmet Scanlan’s performance as Charlie. Scenes of note are his phone conversation with his father and the back and forth he has with two guards while being interrogated. McMahon is obviously a big believer in the theory that if you throw enough shit some of it will stick, and Scanlan is forced to deliver one tedious un-insightful laborious monologue after another. I couldn’t imagine any actor being able to credibly deliver this dialogue. So Scanlan can be forgiven in part but he should have the wear with all to know a bad script when he sees it. The problem is with the sheer volume of dialogue nothing sticks and you only become more infuriated with each passing line seeming like the ramblings of a sixteen year old who has happened upon Nietzsche for the first time.
The other actors can only be grateful that Charlie takes up so much screen time making their crime less visible. At times they seem to have varying looks of terror as if they have suddenly realised what they are doing and find themselves trapped in some nightmare. The actors and director can not be the only ones to receive criticism, the film was nominated for four IFTAs (Irish Film and Television Awards). Best Director, Film , Script and Editing. This surely highlights how farcical the awards are and is a slap in the face to any other piece nominated in the same category.
With this hackneyed, unoriginal, tripe Irish cinema has hit a new low and I can only hope this film disappears quickly into the void. For shame.
Ireland / Directed By: Terry McMahon / Written By: Terry McMahon / Starring: Emmett Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Valeria Bandino / 94min / Crime, Thriller / Release: 11 May 2012 (Ireland)