A pair of jobless mates living in the western suburbs of Sydney, and who spend their days watching TV, get the notion that they can alleviate their boredom by planning and executing a bank robbery.

This laconically funny, very Australian film is a considerable achievement.

The heroes of Idiot Box, David Caesar's marvellous new film, are unemployed and bored with it. Not that they really want to work, they're far too lazy for that. They live in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and do little except watch the idiot box, spending what money they can beg, borrow or steal on beer. Kev (Ben Mendelsohn) lives with his mum and has a girlfriend with whom he enjoys the most desolatory relationship. His mate Mick (Jeremy Sims) shares a place with his hard-working brother and is attracted to Lani (Robyn Loau), a Polynesian who works at the local drive-in liquor store. The lads have decided it's time to get some hard cash and they plan to rob a bank. They reckon they've learnt enough about robbing banks from TV. 

Meanwhile unknown to Kev and Mick, police officers Graham Blundell and Deborah Kennedy, are on the trail of a professional robber who terrorises local banks wearing a clown mask. Well this laconically funny, very Australian film is a considerable achievement from writer/director David Caesar, who's made a number of original documentaries and one rather disappointing feature before this. The plotting's clever, the dialogue sharp as a tack, the characters interestingly off-centre, like the local gun and drug dealer who lives with his mum in deepest suburbia, the humour infectious, the music and sound design terrific, the wide-screen cinematography exciting.

From the opening credits, you know this is going to be something special, with its bleak look at sex and violence, the film may not be to everyone's taste, but for me it's the most completely successful Australian film since the very different Shine.


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