Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why We Need Charlie Casanova

One imdb reviewer of CHARLIE CASANOVA described its characters as "barely recognizable as human".

Let me think about that for a moment.

Yes... yes... perhaps... maybe...could be somewhat accurate... IF YOU'D NEVER STEPPED OUTSIDE YOUR FUCKING DOOR!!!  Which is clearly the case with anybody who doesn't find immediate commonalities with this accomplished low budget psycho-drama and its stellar cast of flawed earthlings.

Jesus Christ, this is one intelligent, raw, emotionally gory autopsy of human behavior, its central focus being on  the man/woman thing, hypocrisy and lies (same thing), and the role fate plays in our lives.

Not a wise thing to give too much away because some of the revelations are like a surprise right hook to the head, but here goes a taste:

Charlie Barnum (Emmett Scanlan), a caustic, entitled, upper middle class bully who rides roughshod over his intimidated mates and their partners, is responsible for the death of a working class girl. In the tradition of Luke Rhinehart's THE DICEMAN, where fate is sealed by the roll of a dice, Charlie, in the immediate wake of her demise, consults cards to determine his course of action. The result of his choice gives him a newfound freedom with its inevitable consequences, and subjects everybody around him to the living hell of their true selves, and the pain of their own inertia.

Irishman Terry McMahon, the film's writer/director, has produced a work birthed by his outrage at what we settle for, what we take for granted, and what we pretend is happiness. It's a loud and beautifully articulated wake-up call to lives lived in a state of apathy.  Festering apathy.

Seems the film's copped predictable criticism from women, the Irish film "establishment", and anybody else who's not too happy to see their own soiled toilet paper draped over the local town hall. The film's portrayal of hopelessly broken male/female dynamics is spot on, and McMahon has as much venom in reserve for men as he does for women. Charlie's best friend is a prime example of a male who's had his balls torn off by a woman. Weak, pathetic, and convinced that submission will keep the peace, he is, like many men, unable to re-assert his masculinity in a world where male submission to convention is seen as acceptable and preferable. Of course, conventions such as marriage favor one sex and tend to enslave the other. Ultimately, both are enslaved because the fantasy writes checks that reality can't cash.

CHARLIE CASANOVA asks us to think, to question, to rage against the bullshit we're fed. Until we all do that, we'll be needing fellas like Charlie.

Available now on DVD from Amazon US and the UK. Also on VOD.

US distributor is BRINK.

 My radio mate Tom Leykis has been transmitting messages similar to Charlie's for more than a decade now.

He can be found at:


  1. Awwww... so sad :-(

  2. Anon -- the film depicts a reality that definitely exists, but it is not the only reality. Some relationships work because the participants fight against inertia in a variety of ways. The film is a wake-up call to folks who are unable to tweak convention.