A Modern Man Review: A model life | Sydney Film Festival Review | SWITCH.
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By Brent Davidson
17th June 2017

Gosh. It must be hard being incredibly attractive, wealthy, talented and successful. Well, maybe some things are hard, but generally life seems pretty good. So it’s definitely not just me feeling inadequate watching 'A Modern Man' in my pyjamas with a glass of gin at home on a Friday night? Oh. It probably is.

This documentary follows a period in the life of Charlie Siem, a man born from wealthy stock who is not only a virtuoso violinist but a model for Armani. Some people really do have it all.

I don’t know about you, but when a documentary starts with someone buying a new bright orange Porche and complaining about the sound system, I find it immediately relatable. I mean who doesn’t?! From there, we're sort of just shown fabulous parts of what seems like a fabulous life. He performs in concerts, models for Armani, greets fans, drives some amazing open roads and has a pool in a mansion by the water. Sorry. Did I say it was relatable before?


My bad.

But it is this very reliability that creates probably the most human aspect of the film, the personal isolation he experiences is a constant thread. At one stage Charlie even says, “I don’t really have any friends,” and I’m sorry, but all the cars and houses and modelling contracts in the world would convince me to want to live a life without friends. Another humanising aspect is when he chats with his parents, generously described as “Your mother who is British and your father who is a very successful businessman,” but at the end of the day they are just parents wanting the best for their child.

If everything else was taken away from him and he still had his violin, he would still be happy.

It’s lucky because it looks like (personal relationships aside) they got what they wanted.

What I loved watching about this film was his approach to his music; he is meticulous and caring, making me feel like if everything else was taken away from him and he still had his violin, he would still be happy. It’s mind-blowing to hear people nonchalantly talk about Stradivarius Violins which are almost priceless in themselves as if they were just your run-of-the-mill instrument. But I guess that’s the product of another level of everything.

While this documentary is mostly a glory piece, if you like classical music, hot guys and the lives of the rich and famous (and their struggles), you will enjoy 'A Modern Man’ - otherwise you might be left like I was, cold and unable to connect.

RUN TIME: 01h 24m
CAST: Charlie Siem
DIRECTOR: Eva Mulvad
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