By Ben Hoffman
Canadian director Vincenzo Natali of Cube fame has brought us another surreal existential displacement flick in the delightfully engaging Nothing.
Made by Natali in 2003, casts David Hewlett and Andrew Miller as best friends in the midst of a twisted and unrelenting urban Toronto. The two live together as childhood-friends-turned-roommates in a tiny house sandwiched between two freeways, free to enjoy life in their own way. At least until the problems arrive.
Enter stage right the rest of the world, here to corrupt and subvert the joy of living together as best friends. Angry Torontonians demand the engagement of the police in the life of the main characters, as the cops bust down the door of the friends’ unbelievably skinny house, they realize they hate the world and wish it would disappear.
For the remainder of the movie, Natali guides the characters through the dense jungle of nothingness, using the ambient white background to delve into the psyche of the friends and the structure of their friendship.
Although on its surface Nothing allows for a good laugh out loud, it doesn’t take very long to realize this is not the entire scope of its intent. The sometimes stretched humour eventually lets loose to reveal a genuine story about why people are friends and how even best friends can come to disagree with each other.
Well written, courtesy of Andrews Lowery and Miller, and despite its very surreal framework, Nothing displays dynamic characters with a lot of heart, and entertains exceptionally while doing so. Many would benefit from a view of this movie.