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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Perfect Sleep


Starring: Anton Pardoe, Roselyn Sanchez, Patrick Bauchau, Peter J. Lucas, Michael Pare
Icon Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 July 2010

Having escaped the mad clutches of a crime boss, who might be your father, what would possess you, ten years later, to return to the city to certain violence and possible death? For one man it is the memory of Porphyria (no, not the illness that turns your urine purple and makes you go mad) a love from his childhood. Now in danger, her safety might cost him his life...

The Perfect Sleep (2009 - 1 hr, 41 min, 33 sec) is the debut film noir from writer Anton Pardoe and director Jeremy Alter. I can only presume that it was the success of other recent movies with a noirish flavour that made the two take on this project, making a film of a genre that has reached an extreme level of decrepitude and caricature. We will quickly pass over the unfortunate heroine’s name, though I did find that it kept pulling me out of the action for some unintended chuckles.

So our unnamed hero returns once more to the life he had turned his back on all for the love of a woman. Cue meaningful voiceover dialogue and lots of violence. Actually that’s pretty much the script. What the film loses in script originality it more than makes up for in visual splendour. Here Alter dishes up a sensual feast for the old eyeballs, though at times even this can’t save the rambling narrative. The overall ambience is greatly enhanced by David Vanian’s score, who seem to have come a long way since his days in The Damned.

The film is well acted, although most of the cast are only required to stand around looking cool and talking in a knowing and meaningful manner, which will either draw you deeper into the film's world or irritate the tits off you. The film stars Anton Pardoe, as our unknown hero, which also explains how wordy the script is. He is ably supported by Roselyn Sanchez, Patrick Bauchau, Peter J. Lucas and Michael Pare.

Joking aside - I still can’t believe that the heroine is called Porphyria - this is a flawed but impressive first film, with much to commend it, visually arresting and atmospheric, but I feel that to have taken film noir as their first subject was stretching both the writer and director.

The disc has options for an English 2.0 or 5.1 tracks; the only difference is that the soundtrack sounds better in 5.1; both have the option of English subtitles. The only extra on the disc is the original theatrical trailer (1 min, 25 sec).


Charles Packer

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