With last year’s tragic The Wedding Party opening last years festival, I think that it’s fair to say that my bar had been significantly lowered in terms of what I was expecting. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised with Belgian/French film The Fairy, a film that was also written and directed by its three lead actors. The film is a slapstick romance which revolves around a man working the night shift at a hotel who is visited by a woman claiming to be a Fairy. With strong links to the likes of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati’s work, the film itself feels like a series of sketches that have been worked around a really rough storyline. Unfortunately with this being the case, the longer the movie went, the more the audience became restless – possibly getting antsy to get to the Town Hall for their free booze and canapés. That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Fairy with it’s surreal “Boosh-like” moments which included a strange under-the-sea dance and also the very clever use of rear projection in a chase sequence.
One thing I loved about this film was the fact that the filmmakers all had a hand in the writing/directing and acting side of things. It was very clear that they played to their strengths as actors and physical comedians which was evident all throughout the film.
The Fairy is by no means a perfect film. It does drag on a little too long and has a few jokes that fall flat on their face. However this light hearted love story with its genuine laugh out loud moments made for a considerable boost in quality for the Opening Night films that I have seen during my 5 years of attending MIFF. I’ll take this over The Wedding Party or 2:37 any day!