Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise
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Danny Boyle, who soared with the British films SHALLOW GRAVE and TRAINSPOTTING, then fell on his face with the Hollywood duds A LIFE LESS ORDINARY and THE BEACH, got back in form with this effort, reborn of the freedom that digital technology affords today's daring (and invariably under-financed) filmmakers. He's obviously fascinated with the limitless possibilities for camera placement that the technology affords, embedding miniature cameras all over the sets to permit individual scenes to be viewed from a rapid-fire succession of perspectives. His editing and music skills, combined with stellar camerawork by noted dogme cameraman Anthony Dodd Mantle, results in a raw, exciting new `dogme-MTV' type of look ... a look that Boyle put to good use in his subsequent hit, 28 DAYS LATER.
But `look' alone cannot make a movie. You still need a script to work with, and Boyle is blessed here with an outstanding one from Jim Cartwright. The story is nothing less than a bold and brilliant comedic re-conceptualization of Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN for the digital age. And unlike Miller, Cartwright doesn't play coy with what the salesman is actually peddling -- you know right from the start that it's vacuum cleaners.Read more ›
One such--indeed, king of sales-driven ferocity--is Tommy Rag, an overweight, overwrought maniac whose own motivational tape (i.e., he recorded it himself)--"Sell, sell, sell, f**king sell, f**king sell"--is set to heavy metal music. This is one of numerous hilarious pleasures of this intensely manic made-for-TV (BBC) film directed by Danny Boyle. Played by Timothy Spall, Rag is anything but ragtag, but does manage to rag unto near-nervous breakdown his new protege, Pete (actor Michael Begley), a rookie salesguy who transitions from "mixing cassettes for teenagers" to selling vacs, all the better to insure that his stripper girlfriend won't leave him.
The script by Jim Cartwright is perfect, and is matched with Boyle's perfect direction to deliver a short (75-minute) film that couldn't be any longer and retain its power without flagging/fragging the viewer. Spall is nothing short of miraculous here, an unstoppable force that seemingly only hurricane Ivan might bring down. His intensity is so palpable you can feel yourself quaking, shaking, and roaring every time he makes an appearance (which is, in fact, most of the film).
A comic bash that pounds and astounds, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise deserves a wider audience and more than makes up for Boyle's disastrous The Beach (w. Leonardo di Caprio; brilliant cinematography is its only saving grace) and lackluster A Life Less Ordinary.Read more ›
The film is filled with over-the-top moments like vacuum cleaner point of view shots and a brilliantly choreographed synchronized vacuum cleaner dancing routine to the tune of "My Baby Takes The Morning Train" by Sheena Easton at the Golden Vac Awards. Perhaps no scene is more visually searing (and funny) than the sight of Timothy Spall undressed in a flamenco seduction complete with castanets. (Oh the humanity!) I loved the contrast between Tommy and Pete, and the backstory that shows Tommy's downfall and Pete's increasing moral sensibility as the movie goes on. The pivotal scene at the Golden Vac Awards which results in no end of emoting from Tommy, ultimately culminating with flinging a vacuum into the Atlantic Ocean in a scene of great pathos is brilliantly staged.
The film runs about 75 minutes and even though it has lots of razor-sharp edits, it still seemed a bit overlong for the premise. The actors do a great job here, with Spall and Begley forming an absolutely perfect opposing duo highlighting the seedy side of vacuum cleaner sales; Spall is a great actor and truly convinces you of his single-sighted malevolence in this role, while Begley's journey of conscience is utterly brilliant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Big fan of Danny Boyle. But this is a lousy movie. Grainy, poor camera work. Choppy, annoying editing. Cardboard-cutout characters. Giving it 2 stars is being generous.Published 18 months ago by Timothy P. LaVassar
I first saw this when I was in my early 20's. As an aspiring electronic musician, I felt that I understood Pete's struggle. Tommy Rag seemed like a monster. Read morePublished 23 months ago by nathaniel burman
I had seen it before, and loved it.
Your first day at a new job and having to work with the salesman from hell...
At 76 minutes, I didn't hope for much in a full length movie, but what a surprise! I was mesmerized from beginning to end by the intensity of Timothy Spall's acting. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Donald C. Renfro
"Death of a Salesman" meets "Glengarry Glenn Ross" on acid, this portrait of the empty, horrible life of
door-to-door selling was made on the cheap in 20 days for the BBC. Read more
We saw previews of this on a DVD for another movie. It looked like it was going to be hilariously amusing. Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by BH in Sacramento, CA
Anybody in sales or those with pulse should watch this film just for Timothy Spall's over the top character. One of the most memorable performances in film. Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by JOHN DUROSE
Wow, this one really took me by surprise. Found it at me local library and brought it back to the flat for a quick look-see. Read more
I bought this movie because I am a HUGE fan of Danny Boyle's work. His early work (Shallow Grave and Trainspotting) are some of my favorite films. Read morePublished on March 13, 2007 by I Want My $10 Back