Bob Hayword

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Dot The I Review


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Lips. The one thing I kept thinking about while watching Mathew Parkhill's debut comedy-cum-thriller Dot the I, was lips. The reasons were quite obvious. The stars of the film, Gael García Bernal (Bad Education) and sultry Natalia Verbeke (Life: A User's Manual), both have extraordinary ones. Bernal in particular has lips that can only be described as Kinski-ian in their curl. And that's fitting because he has mentioned in interviews that the oft times rabidly deranged Klaus Kinski, who's autobiography I Need Love was an outrageously raw memoir of out-and-out insanity, as an inspiration. Verbeke's lips aren't as weirdly fascinating as Bernal's, though they are sexy, out J. Lo-ing J. Lo.

My focus on the lips wasn't by chance, Parkhill actually opens and practically closes the film with zoomed shots of the lead's puckers. In Dot the I, the camera follows lips and eyes almost reverentially. It's as though Parkhill believes he can capture the soul of his actors in close-up shots of their faces. It's telling because despite the pretension of depth, the film is quite superficial, with an odd, almost off, affectation. Parkhill wants to tell us an engaging, deliriously snappy story but he loses us with half-baked dialogue and patchwork style.

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