Director: Ross Munro
Starring: Ross Munro, Robert David Duncan
Review Author: Tony
We have been lucky enough to get an abundance of Spotlight requests recently which is hopefully a result of us doing something right. This category of the blog has gone from strength to strength this year putting us in touch with numerous talented filmmakers and really given us a clearer insight into the more humble and honest independent filmmaking market. This months entry and the second feature film we’ve covered is the dark comedy, A legacy of Whining.
A Legacy of Whining is a dark and at times surreal comedy about the reunion of two high school friends, Mitch and Duncan. Mitch is a struggling actor striving to relive the glory days with his old buddy while Duncan is a cynic more interested in a drinking buddy. While trying to relive the glory days, both stumble down the path of misadventure and absurdity.
The films strongest trait is the chemistry between its two leads. While polar opposites and generally spending the film at odds with each other you can’t help but like them. Mitch is an oddball spouting movie references and finding every opportunity to flex his vocabulary whilst oblivious to Duncan’s negativity and constant put-downs. Duncan is a charismatic yet cynical divorcee looking for quick thrills and a night on the town. While both have a different outlook on the good old days, it becomes evident that both are trying to capture their youthful spirits in different ways.
The Production is of a quality standard for a low budget film like this. The camerawork is professionally handled with wide shots capturing long conversation scenes and close-ups to catch the characters reactions. There’s a variety of camerawork on display for various cutaways and visual gags which were my favourite part of the film and produced the biggest laughs. Sound design is flawless, especially for such a dialogue-heavy film.
Comedy is perhaps one of the hardest genres to conquer due to its subjectivity and while the movie has a couple of zingers, hilarious cutaways and a heavy dose of sarcasm its commitment to quick-fire jokes leads to a few misses. There’s a high energy nature to the comedy that could have benefitted from taking a breather and refining the delivery (especially when you can see the makings a good joke). The plot is relatively grounded for the first two acts but the third really takes an offbeat turn. It still retains some decent humour in the last act but it concludes in a pretty head-scratching manner.
While the overall narrative and comedic delivery could have been perked up, A legacy of Whining still kept me engaged with a likable cast, sarcastic wit, great visual gags and interesting themes of maturity and clinging to the past. It’s a raunchier, less mature version of My Dinner with Andre which is something I didn’t know I needed in my life until now.