Mirrah Foulkes directs Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman and Benedict Hardie in this revisionist, feminist retelling of the Punch & Judy puppet show.
Thirty minutes in and I thought I was watching a fantastic piece of cinema. A brutally funny homage to Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton where the married puppeteers of the out-of-time village of Seaside go to war with each other. Both Wasikowska and Herriman are on fire as the put upon wife and vainglorious drunk respectively. It looks a treat. “THAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT!” Then the narrative propulsion just peters out to a stop. You can tell what Foulkes is trying to achieve in the later swathes but that virulent energy is gone and we seem to just be waiting about for a lacklustre finale. Still, there’s a lot of seedy distressed eye candy to goggle at, a laudable message and the occasionally bleak joke even after this hothouse flower loses its petals.
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