Review: Amazonia

Written and directed by Dominic Hicks, a triptych of dark comedy shorts based on real product reviews, amidst the pros and cons of kitchen tools and electrical appliances, it traces the fears and obsessions of three total strangers. Starring: Richard Gadd, Rachel Stubbings and Alexander Kirk.

If you’ve ever read a handful of reviews on not just Amazon but a large number of retail websites, then you’ll likely have come across several of the variety that are either too long or overly short but always entirely unhelpful, and you may have wondered what type of person wrote it, well this film explores that for you. Even before diving into the film, the basic idea of the plot is a great idea, it’s something people can relate to and uses a huge dose of imagination to create something dark, and thankfully the film executes the idea well.

The first story doesn’t quite start on as strong footing as the following two, rather than diving straight into how the narrated review and visual are linked, it slowly works its way there but once it does, it’s a satisfying combination. Each story takes the pointedness of each ridiculous review and runs full sprint into the darker side of imagination, using a tonne of irony that meshes with the visual to make something funny and twisted. The tone is consistent throughout, the writing is extremely well done, not the reviews of course which are creepy but the visual elements and interpretation of the reviewers’ lives. It’s sleek and witty but also pushed further by clever editing, letting cuts land on a shot that brings out the comedy without anything needing to be said, which is particularly strong in the first story, edited by Tommy Boulding.

Each of the three leads do well with the story that they’re given, particularly Stubbings, whose arm of the plot arguably asks more of her emotionally than the other two, she gives a performance that’s simultaneously cold and distant, yet vulnerable and broken. All three of them provide a presence that enhances the irony and sarcasm to each story, while the darkness does already come through easily with the writing, they each still add an extra layer to the comedy.

Amazonia is as described, it takes the concept of wondering what sort of weirdos and crazies write these types of reviews and ran with it to create something funny, dark and witty, that’s bursting with imagination. It’s well directed, acted, edited and written and it all comes together to make for satisfying viewing and a film that could certainly spawn an endless number of sequels, considering the amount of crazed reviews on Amazon, let alone other websites.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯ | 8/10

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