GIVE ME LIBERTY

★★★

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE, LENGTHILY EXECUTION

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
3rd August 2019

Editing is one of the most important parts of filmmaking: it can make a joke land, add an extra punch to that emotional beat, or provide the perfect jump scare - the list goes on. ‘Give Me Liberty’ is, unfortunately, another great example of a film that needed a few more cuts before it hit cinemas.

While having personal issues of his own, Vic (Chris Galust) drives disabled people around town while also helping them in their daily lives. The film follows him on one crazy day where not only does he have to deal with his usual clients, he also offers to take a group of Russian seniors to the burial of their friend. Through a series of compactions and hijinks, both groups get delayed with their days - and for Vic, it could mean losing his job.

The film clocks in just under the two-hour mark, and it's really a shame because the longer it goes on the more and more disconnected and lost the audience becomes. The acting and writing are phenomenal, but the film needs to be tighter to pull off its loose narrative structure; it's very unfortunate because this could have been brilliant. I was loving being with this unusual pairing of people and seeing all of those different personalities clashing, but by the end I felt disinterested.

While the whole cast is quite talented, newcomer Lauren Spencer outshines them all. She's one of Vic's clients and is suffering from ALS. Her character goes through a range of emotions, being the most vocal about having to be stuck in a van with the seniors, while also dealing with troubles in her relationships.

This could have been a really powerful film, but due to many lengthy scenes that drain it sadly fails.

One other issue with the film is while it's loose in its narrative, early in act one there's a set-up of riots happening in the city and the group get turned around and carry on their journey. In the back of your mind you know that it will come back, but when it does the film has less than 20 minutes left, so most of the emotional investment you had in the characters is lost due to the film wafting around. The film wants to hit hard with a big punch of social commentary, but it just comes across flat.

‘Give Me Liberty’ could have been a really powerful film, but due to many lengthy scenes that drain it sadly fails. The cast gives their all, and I hope to see these faces again - I just wish the filmmakers sat in the edit suite a little longer.

Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
RELATEDMY NAME IS DANIELA step forward for disability representation
RELATEDWONDERPack your tissues
RELATEDDON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD25th anniversary of the era-defining film
TRENDINGWIN SWITCH'S 8TH ANNIVERSARYCome celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
TRENDINGWIN FREAKSA post-apocalyptic sci-fi mystery
TRENDINGWIN THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure for the whole family
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGSORRY WE MISSED YOUAn incisive look at the struggle against debt
TRENDINGWHAT WILL BECOME USThe man behind an iconic Australian brand
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us