Angel Baby Film Details
Overview: Two schizophrenics meet during therapy and fall passionately in love. Ahead of them lies the inevitable road to disaster – one they share to the end.
Tagline: An extraordinary story of love’s transcendent power.
Review: The issue presented in the Australian movie ‘Angel Baby’ is one that is very close to me. I am talking about mental illness and how destructive any of them can be to individuals that get it. I have been affected by both depression and a mild case of schizophrenia (the illness that is shown here) and the highs and lows that come with those illnesses. This film is important as shows what it takes to overcome a mental illness and what affects they can have on your life and those around you. A funny, haunting love story, ‘Angel Baby’ tells the story of two lost souls, Harry and Kate, who fall in love against the odds and find hope strength in each other to accomplish the impossible. Full of humour, compassion and hope, Angel Baby is a testament to the power of love and a roller-coaster journey to the magical fringes of the human psyche. There is a lot to like about and take in with this movie. The writer /director Michael Rymer has bought a very interesting Australian movie to our screen. The story that we get here is one that is probably not all that uncommon, but is not known in our community. It accentuates the difficulties that people have when they are battling any mental illness and what rash choices they make when they are unable function mentally. This story also had the wonderful aspects that show Kate’s obsessions of seeing messages from a TV game-show, while I am glad that the story shows both Kate and Harry choosing a life that they are probably not able to keep in complete control of because of their mental illness issues. Then as director, Rymer makes some very impressive moves. I love how the movie makes us as the audience feel like we are experiencing what the mental illness is like that both Kate and Harry actually have. I believe this mainly through the extraordinary camera work that is used, with all of its different views and angles. This aspect of the movie is helped by its cinematographer Ellery Ryan, who captures it all perfectly. I also love the choice of scenery used in ‘Angel Baby’, such as the shots of the city and the grand ‘West gate bridge’, which is used to great effect in the film. The leading cast to this movie was outstanding. Harry (John Lynch) and Kate (Jacqueline Mackenzie) are wonderful on screen together. They were both very convincing as both very mentally ill patients and it is through their performances that I believe this. There were some very real moments (well that is what they felt like for me) in this film where I believed these actors were suffering a mental illness for real. One such incident is when Kate is totally taken aback by being hit by kid skate-boarding at the local shopping centre. What I saw was a haunting sort of vision, one that I can relate to, and one that I was glad too see. The rest of the cast is pretty good as well. Harry has concerned friends, the Goodman’s. Morris (Colin Friels) and Louise (Deborra-Lee Furness) both show at individual times that they are truly concerned with the situation they find Harry and his girl in. Their son, Sam Goodman, (Daniel Daperis) was another important character, who has a terrific scene with Harry, about being unable to sleep one. What Harry helps Sam out with is ironic, considering the situation that we see Harry gets himself into. I watched Angel Baby and ‘Cosi’, (another Australian movie, which deals with mental illness) back to back. Cosi was not as good as Angel Baby in my view, but the two films are completely different. One is from a totally serious point of view, while the other is coming from the comedic perspective about mental illness. I am still yet to see the classic Australian film ‘Shine’, starring Geoffrey Rush. But from what I have been told, it must be another worthwhile movie about how mental illness affects people, even brilliant and successful individuals. I am a firm believer that mental illness is an issue in society that is culturally misunderstood by most people. I believe this because people are either misinformed or misdiagnosed, or they immediately dismiss a person with such a problem, saying either ‘they are making excuses for themselves’ or ‘they should just snap out of it’. I personally hate that point of view as it is not only arrogant, but it is also a very naïve point of view in my opinion. I say that compassion should be shown instead of criticism, while understanding and sensitivity should be learnt instead of straight dismissal and sheer arrogance. I guess my only criticism of Angel Baby is that it has a very limited cast, but perhaps that was a deliberate move, to show both Harry and Kate, for as long as they could. I would have preferred a bit bigger cast. I am glad that we were able to see all sorts of ideas, visions and images presented about how mental illness can affect people in ‘Angel Baby’, and are eternally grateful that an Australian movie is willing and daring enough to show it. For that, I thank the makers and actors from the bottom of my heart. CMRS gives ‘Angel Baby’: 4.5 (Very Good Brilliant Film)
Duration: 105 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
Also known as: Angel Baby,エンジェル・ベイビー,Aniołek,Ангелочек,Enkelin lapsi,Un ángel a quién amar