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Film Review: Doomsdays

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“How do you find a purpose in a world that’s about to collapse?” is the question asked by Doomsdays, the “contemporary satirical comedy” that is opening this year’s LOCO London Comedy Film Festival.

Marking itself as a comment about the pre-apocalyptic state of the world, Doomsdays acts like a countdown to something bigger. Set throughout one March, it follows the daily movements of Bruho (Leo Fitzpatrick, Kids, The Wire, My Name is Earl) and Dirty Fred (Justin Rice, Mutual Appreciation, Alexander the Last), a couple of slackers who have dropped out of accepted society and now spend their days breaking into empty holiday homes in New York’s Catskill Mountains and living off whatever it is they find inside.

An allegory for the financial crisis, Doomsdays is not a film that feels the need to explain itself in any way. Causing minor of amounts of devastation to the numerous houses that they infiltrate, and not worrying in the least on the occasions when they are caught or almost caught, Bruho and Dirty Fred (and later the lonely teenage boy and directionless young woman who join them) present us with a moral question – are they simply mindless criminals bent on destruction, or is there more going on?

Bruho slashes the tyres of cars and takes a hammer to their windows with such force that his anger is apparent – but in which direction is it really aimed?  

A funny and occasionally insightful script is the foundation of the film’s humour, as it becomes clear that there is far more behind the characters’ actions than mere destruction.  Later scenes within the temporary home of Bruho and Dirty Fred’s new acquaintance Reyna (Laura Campbell) also strongly suggest that what the central characters are searching for, ultimately, is some level of fantasy, unlikely to ever be made real. Characters inadvertently reveal more about themselves (and in turn the differing motivations behind their actions) through the appearance of Reyna, whose existence challenges the route that their lives have taken, and throws up flaws in their way of dealing with the issues at hand.   

Described as “Wes Anderson meets Michael Haneke”, Doomsdays is minimal on plot, preferring thematics and implication. It is a thought-provoking and dark offering from first time director and writer Eddie Mullins, and raises big questions in the way that is required from all successful satire.

Doomsdays is opening the satire strand of the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, which will be taking place across the capital between the 23rd and 26th of January. For more information on the festival click here.  

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