Iain Hopkins, Michael Kennedy, Maurice Marshan, Mario Marchioni
Morris Falzon (Maurice Farshan) works with his father George (Mario Marchioni) in the Inner Western Suburbs of Sydney, Australia. His personal life is a mess and business is sinking, but Morris is thrown a lifeline when a dying client reveals that he's about to leave Morris a small fortune in his will.
Then, the client stages a miraculous recovery.
A dark comedy with dramatic moments, The Big Noise is the low-budget directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Dominic Pelosi and while the film certainly has the expected traits of a low-budget/no budget indie it also accomplishes far more than you might expect.
The film's success on the film festival circuit is proof positive that Pelosi has a promising career ahead of him. The film has already been an official selection in a slew of festivals and picked up prizes for Best Director, Best Screenplay (Andrew Pelosi), and Best Actor at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival while also receiving the Silver Screen Award at the 2012 Nevada International Film Festival.
Pelosi acknowledges being influenced by Italian Neo-Realism, a film movement that first surfaced in the early 1940's with filmmakers like Visconti and Rossellini and has amongst its common traits the utilization of nonprofessional actors, being frequently shot on location, and having much to do with the societal issue of social order. If you keep these basic concepts in the back of your mind while watching The Big Noise, I'd dare say that the film itself will grow in esteem and will be all the more impressive for you as it's an ideal approach for a low-budget indie to take.
As Morris, Maurice Marshan does a terrific job of creating a performance that jibes perfectly with the film's multi-layered tones and overall aura. There's an interesting divide between the film's original score and the tone created by Pelosi's black-and-white lensing. Marshan's performance serves as the perfect bridge between the two.
As one expects from a low-budget indie, The Big Noise is at least modestly hindered by its lighting issues that are amplified at times by the use of black-and-white lensing. The sound, as well, is occasionally a bit too muted for a film that already has a muted tone to it. Yet, once again, within the vision of Neo-Realism, it's an approach that works and fits nicely within the context of this film's look at family, social order, and choice.
Fans of indie filmmaking will enjoy some of Pelosi's choices and unquestionably I look forward to what comes next for the first-time director.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic