Alex Proyas' GARAGE DAYS
Alex Proyas’ GARAGE DAYS is light years distant from DARK CITY. First, it’s a comedy. Second, it’s also a melodrama that concentrates on characters, sort of a “tale of death of youthful optimism” crossed with “sex drugs and rock ‘n roll.”
It follows a small band and a few hangers-on as they try to get their first gig in a suburb of Sidney, Australia. This is not the elegant urban Sidney of DIL CHAHTA HAI but a somewhat surreal gritty suburb called “Newtown.” The best way I can describe how it looks is that, color and image wise, it reminds me of the closing scenes of DARK CITY where Murdoch sees the blue skies, clouds, and pier appear before his eyes when he opens the door. (If there’s a “downtown” to Shell Beach this is probably what it looks like!)
There is a sweetness and friendliness to this film that I found quite appealing, despite the fact that the real urban cutthroat music scene and business that Proyas is satirizing I am sure had quite a bit of tragedy and sadness that are really papered over here. Proyas admits as much in his (quite interesting) commentary. Riding a motorcycle while high, for example, is not something that should be encouraged.
GARAGE DAYS won’t appeal to everyone. Some may view it as too “light” after films like DARK CITY and THE CROW. (I haven’t seen I ROBOT yet.) I found it just the thing at the end of a hard day.
It was fun seeing Marton Csokas playing a cad, the exact opposite of the ethereal Celeborn he played in the LORD OF THE RINGS movies. Plus, the dance sequence at the end credits has to be seen to be believed.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Dennis D. McDonald