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Griff the Invisible (2011)
Friday, August 19, 2011
Some language and violence.
Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody, Kelly Paterniti, Andy Minh Trieu, Heather Mitchell
Griff, a shy and awkward office worker by day, finds escape from his ordinary life by assuming the identity of a fantastic superhero each night. Griff's secret is jeopardized when he meets Melody, a cute but unconventional daydreamer. She quickly becomes fascinated by his idiosyncrasies , which are equal only to her own. In the face of mounting pressure to live in the "real world," it's up to Melody to rescue GRIFF THE INVISIBLE for the sake of herself, Griff and their newfound love for each other.
Griff the Invisible (2011) | Review
Which One Is The Alter Ego?
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." --Oscar WildeGriff The Invisible opens with this quote and lightheartedly explores Wilde's idea over the course of the film. This new film coming out of Australia enters a crowded market of "real life superhero" films. But how does it compare to others of its ilk? Honestly, if you think of Griff The Invisible as the anti-Kick-Ass, then you may be as swept up by Griff and Melody's journey as I was.
Griff The Invisible follows the isolated and almost hallucinatory existence of a young Australian man named Griff (Ryan Kwanten). At work, Griff is bullied and socially inept. But Griff has a secret identity as a crime-fighting vigilante that allows him to escape from his mundane existence. Or does he?
The conceit that Griff's alter ego may or may not be real is handled quite well as the movie progresses, and far be it from me to spoil just what is real and what is not. But I don't want to bill this film as a superhero film at all. Or even a romantic comedy. In my opinion, Griff The Invisible is a complex romance. It isn't really a comedy, although there are some light-hearted and funny moments. And it is not an action adventure. It does wrestle with the real-world super-hero scenario. But Griff The Invisible takes place in a more optimistic and small world than Kick-Ass and others in the genre.
The main arc follows what happens when Griff's brother introduces him to Melody (Maeve Dermody). Melody quickly feels a connection to the isolated Griff. But Griff, adhering to the ever-important code of Spiderman and other heroes, cannot have a love in his life. It would be too dangerous to have personal attachments as he fights crime.
Melody will not be dissuaded, however. What unfolds is a kind-hearted romance, with ups and downs complicated by Griff's alter ego. Ryan Kwanten does an admirable job as the socially inept Griff. But Maeve Dermody infuses all of the magic and heart into the film for me. Melody is a misunderstood, but beautiful, young woman. And the love she essentially forces on Griff is powerful.
The conclusion of Griff The Invisible may leave some scratching their heads. You might even disagree with the actions taken by the characters. But my sense is that the film defends the redeeming power of unconditional love. Oscar Wilde was probably right to say that we all wear masks in life. The love between Melody and Griff sees behind the mask, but doesn't necessarily take the mask off.
Copyright © 2011 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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