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Ruben Guthrie - Film Review

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by Nick Turvel (subscribe)
Freelance writer living in the Inner West. Keen on comedy, theatre & film.
Published June 6th 2015
Rubén Guthrie Brendan Cowell Film Cinema
Patrick Brammall as Rubén Guthrie's title character

It's always good to see entertaining, culturally relevant Australian Cinema and, without embellishment or hyperbole, Brendan Cowell's latest film Rubén Guthrie is simply just that.

Set in the fast paced world of party animal/advertising genius Rubén Guthrie, the film follows Rubén's impossible battle for sobriety against a drinking culture that prefers him to be intoxicated - regardless of the personal, medical or emotional repercussions.

Escaping the usual Australian cinema tropes of long dull landscapes and silent stoic characters, the film is an incredibly fast paced and hilarious send up of Sydney's and its love of the larrikin - one that can only come from someone with a true love and understanding of the city.

Patrick Brammel is superb in the title role, with his machine delivery zingers being almost Downey Jr-esk in their punctuation. Plus as a weird bonus Brammel is also a dead ringer for a young Brendan Cowell - who has publicly stated the films semi-autobiographical nature in regards to his own year of abstinence.

Also worth noting; for a film that was adapted from a play, the piece is also surprisingly visual - full of compelling cinematography (Rubén's atmospheric attempts at sleep and some of the gorgeous shots of the harbour in particular ring to mind).

Granted though being an adaptation the piece has a couple of off putting 'theatre monologue-y' type moments but they are fairly minimal, and though the tasteless and gimmicky inclusion of Vivid promotional material instantly dates the piece and screams sponsorship, these minor annoyances hardly detract from what is otherwise and incredibly engaging and rare pleasure.

3.5 Stars.

Rubén Guthrie was showing as a part of Sydney film festival (closing 8th June) but opens across the country 16th July.

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