Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom/Canada, 2004. True West Films, Vertigo Films. Screenplay by Michael Dowse. Cinematography by Balazs Bolygo. Produced by Allan Niblo, James Richardson, Elizabeth Yake. Music by Graham Massey. Production Design by Paul Burns. Costume Design by Ita Murray. Film Editing by Stuart Gazzard, Mark Popple.
Give this mockumentary enough time and it will eventually win you over. The first half, chronicling the free-wheeling activities of an Ibiza DJ (Paul Kaye) with an unhealthy devotion to drugs and alcohol, is a tiresome exercise in visual carnality. In the second half, however, our protagonist loses his hearing, hits bottom and finds his way back with the love of a kindly speech therapist, herself also deaf, who teaches him how to read lips and eventually gives him back his faith in himself. His new inner peace allows him to pursue his career in music once again, despite his aural limitation, and the film itself becomes a pleasant and almost sweet romance. All the way through, Kaye’s impressive dedication to the role is so realistic that it’s the one thing that will have you convinced that the subject is totally real, while Beatriz Batarda is immensely likeable as his lady love.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2004